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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Nuclear watchdog IAEA says Iran will offer inspectors ‘less access’ over 3 months

Iran will only give 'some' access [Getty]

Date of publication: 22 February, 2021

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IAEA has revealed that whilst Iran is allowing inspectors access, it will not be unlimited.
Iran will begin to offer United Nations inspectors "less access" to its nuclear program as part of its pressure campaign on the West, though investigators will still be able to monitor Tehran's work, the UN atomic agency's chief said Sunday.

Rafael Grossi's comments came after an emergency trip to Iran in which he said the International Atomic Energy Agency reached a "technical understanding" with Tehran to continue to allow monitoring of its nuclear program for up to three months.

But his remarks to journalists underlined a narrowing window for the US and others to reach terms with Iran, which is already enriching and stockpiling uranium at levels far beyond those allowed by its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

"The hope of the IAEA has been to stabilize a situation which was very unstable," Grossi said at the airport after his arrival back in Vienna, where the agency is based.

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"I think this technical understanding does it so that other political consultations at other levels can take place and most importantly we can avoid a situation in which we would have been, in practical terms, flying blind."

Grossi, the IAEA's director general, offered few specifics of the agreement he had reached with Iranian leaders.

He said the number of inspectors on the ground would remain the same but “what changes is the type of activity” the agency was able to carry out, without elaborating further.

He stressed monitoring would continue "in a satisfactory manner.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who under President Hassan Rouhani helped reach the atomic accord, said the IAEA would be prevented from accessing footage from their cameras at nuclear sites.

That came during a state TV interview Sunday even before his meeting with Grossi.

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