Tehran and IAEA reach deal for 'new talks' on nuclear power

Compromise reached on maintenance of monitoring equipment during a visit by Director Grossi to Iran. A positive element in view of further meetings between the Islamic Republic and the West on the JCPOA. IAEA: a "constructive" trip, but not a "permanent solution". For experts, Iran's concessions are "modest". 



Tehran (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The Iranian delegation and representatives of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) yesterday reached an agreement to resolve "the most urgent outstanding issues"  between the parties. These include the maintenance of the monitoring equipment. Activists and experts welcome yesterday's move, which opens the hope for "new talks" between the Islamic Republic and the West on nuclear issues (Jcpoa).

IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi obtained the signature with a last-minute trip to Tehran, which he himself has defined "constructive". In the coming days is scheduled the meeting of the Board, composed of 35 members, of the atomic agency during which the Western powers threatened to produce a resolution condemning Iran. This last hypothesis would have, in all likelihood, sunk in a definitive way also the last - residual - hope of dialogue between the parties and a resumption of the nuclear agreement defeated three years ago by the White House. 

In a joint note issued at the end of the meeting it is stated that "the IAA inspectors will be allowed to repair the identified equipment and replace the storage media [which must be changed every three months, ed. The components will be held "under the joint seal of the Aiea and the Aeoi (the Iranian counterpart of the Atomic Agency), in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Times and ways will be agreed upon by the parties." According to some sources, the IAEA will not yet have access to the camera data, but it will be provided if the ongoing talks to save the 2015 international agreement are successful.

Over the past two years, Tehran progressively violated the terms of the pact by easing restrictions on nuclear activities. The first steps in this direction date back to 2019, in response to the May 2018 withdrawal by the then US President Donald Trump from the JCPOA and the reintroduction of the toughest sanctions in history, causing a collapse of the Iranian economy. The temporary agreement expired on June 24 and international diplomats have been working on a new nuclear deal. However, the aftermath of the presidential elections that saw the victory of the ultra-conservative Ebrahim Raisi raises fears of a definitive collapse of the talks. 

On his return to Vienna Grossi stressed that the agreement reached in Teheran "is not a permanent solution, and cannot be". It is "a stopgap", a measure "to leave time for diplomacy". "We managed to solve the most urgent problem: the imminent loss of knowledge with which we were confronted oven yesterday. Now we have a solution" and as confirmed by the EU representative Enrique Mora opens the "space for diplomacy". 

In fact, several unresolved issues remain open, including the inability - or unwillingness - of Tehran to explain the traces of uranium in three undeclared sites. While describing Iran's "concessions" on monitoring as "very modest," Eurasia Group analyst Henry Rome said they "will almost certainly be enough to avoid censure at the meeting" that begins today.