The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have issued a joint statement after reaching a “temporary bilateral technical understanding” during the visit of the IAEA chief to Tehran.
According to the joint statement released on Sunday night after bilateral talks between IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi and the AEOI Chief Ali Akbar Salehi in Tehran, the two sides recalled and reaffirmed the spirit of cooperation and enhanced mutual trust that led to the Joint Statement in Tehran on 26 August 2020, and the importance of continuing that cooperation and trust.
“The AEOI informed the IAEA that in order to comply with the act passed by the Parliament of the Islamic Republic of Iran called ‘Strategic Action to Cease Actions and Protect the interest of Iranian Nation’ Iran will stop the implementation of the voluntary measures as envisaged in the JCPOA, as of 23 February 2021,” the statement said.
“In view of the above and in order for the Agency to continue its verification and monitoring activities, the AEOI and the IAEA agreed:
1. That Iran continues to implement fully and without limitation its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA as before.
2. To a temporary bilateral technical understanding, compatible with the Law, whereby the IAEA will continue with its necessary verification and monitoring activities for up to 3 months (as per technical annex).
3. To keep the technical understanding under regular review to ensure it continues to achieve its purposes,” it added.
In a later statement, the AEOI shed more light on the second part of the agreement regarding the IAEA’s ‘necessary verification and monitoring activities’ in the three-month period.
“As explained in the technical annex, the ‘continuation of necessary verification and monitoring activities’ means Iran will record the data of some of its activities and monitoring equipment, and keep them for three months,” the AEOI said.
“In this period of time, the IAEA will not have any access to the data recorded by Iran, and they will be exclusively kept in Iran. If the sanctions are fully removed in three months, Iran will share the data with the IAEA; otherwise, it will erase them forever,” it added.
The AEOI statement says the technical annex, which includes a list of Iranian nuclear facilities, will remain confidential due to security considerations and the need for keeping secret the exact location of Iran’s key facilities.