EghtesadOnline: The International Atomic Energy Agency has welcomed the recent agreement with Iran over safeguards implementation issues, hoping to reinforce cooperation and enhance mutual trust.
Rafael Grossi, the IAEA chief, made the remarks on Monday while addressing a meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors where he presented a report on the agency’s latest activities in Iran, including efforts to clarify questions related to the correctness and completeness of Iran’s declarations under its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol, the IAEA website reported.
Iran and the United Nations nuclear watchdog were drawn into a dispute over Tehran’s denial of access to two sites suspected by the agency of past nuclear activity.
The IAEA board issued a resolution in July, urging Iran to open up the sites to the agency’s inspectors.
Grossi visited Iran in late August to discuss the differences with Iranian officials.
“Last month, I had discussions in Tehran with President [Hassan] Rouhani and other senior officials aimed at making concrete progress in addressing the agency’s outstanding questions, and in particular at resolving the issue of access to two locations in Iran,” he said, according to the IAEA’s website.
Iran agreed to voluntarily provide the UN nuclear agency with access to the two locations while the IAEA assured that it would not raise further questions and make further requests for access to locations other than those declared by Iran under its CSA and AP.
“We reached agreement on the resolution of the safeguards implementation issues raised by the agency,” Grossi said.
The nuclear agency subsequently conducted a complementary access, under the Additional Protocol, at one of the two specified locations, according to the IAEA chief.
“Our inspectors took environmental samples that will be analyzed,” he told the board, adding that a complementary access at the second specified location will take place later this month.
Grossi assured that the agency continues to verify the non-diversion of nuclear material declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement.
“Evaluations regarding the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities for Iran continue,” he said.
The IAEA chief also submitted a report of the agency’s verification and monitoring in light of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 that covers activities in the last few months in verifying and monitoring Iran’s implementation of its nuclear-related commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Iran has agreed under JPCOA to place curbs on its nuclear program in return for the lifting of global sanctions. The deal has been enshrined in UNSCR 2231 and the UN watchdog has been put in charge of verifying Iran's compliance with the agreement.
Iran has reduced its compliance in response to the United States’ 2018 exit and reimposition of severe sanctions that other parties have failed to make up for.
The recent IAEA reports have confirmed Iran’s steps away from its JCPOA commitments.
Iranian officials have announced that all measures would be immediately reversed once the country can again enjoy the benefits promised by the accord.