Friday, February 23, 2024

Grossi says Iran pledges more access for IAEA inspectors

Head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi said Saturday that Iran pledged to restore cameras and other monitoring equipment at its nuclear sites. He made the remarks at the end of his two-day visit to Tehran.

Grossi described his visit to Iran as important, saying that a clear understanding was reached on the continuation of cooperation on resolving safeguards issues.

“Over the past few months, there was a reduction in some of the monitoring activities” related to cameras and other equipment “which were not operating,” he told reporters upon his return to Vienna.

“We have agreed that those will be operating again,” the IAEA head added, stating that Iran is supposed to provide access to information, locations and people.

He did not provide details about which equipment would be restored or how soon it would happen, but appeared to be referring to Iran’s removal of surveillance cameras from its nuclear sites in June 2022, following the Western-drafted anti-Tehran resolution by the nuclear agency’s Board of Governors.

“These are not words. This is very concrete,” Grossi said of the assurances he received in Tehran.

His first visit to Iran in a year came days after the IAEA reported that uranium particles enriched up to 83.7% were found in Iran’s Fordow nuclear site. Iranian officials have rejected accusations that the country is enriching uranium to 84 percent purity, asserting that there has been “no deviation” in Tehran’s peaceful nuclear activities.

Grossi said the Iranians had agreed to boost inspections at the facility by 50%. He also confirmed the agency’s findings that there has not been any “production or accumulation” of uranium at the higher enrichment level, “which is a very high level.”

During his visit, the IAEA chief met with top officials, including President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Mohammad Eslami.

“The process has been long. I have not hidden that for us, it has been too long,” Grossi stated, referring to the safeguards issue. But he noted there was a “marked improvement” in his dialogue with Iranian officials.

“I was heard,” he continued, adding, “I hope we will be seeing results soon. We will see.”

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