IAEA regains access to Iran devices to monitor nuclear activity

Photo: AP IAEA chief Rafael Grossi

Iran has agreed to allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to access recording devices used to monitor the country's nuclear sites, the UN's nuclear watchdog said on Sunday. The agreement followed a meeting between IAEA chief Rafael Grossi and Iran's new nuclear chief Mohammed Eslami in Tehran, and comes after the agency was unable to access the devices for several months, dpa reported.

Grossi travelled to Tehran for the first time since Iran's new president, Ebrahim Raisi was sworn in last month, in a fresh bid by the IAEA to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.

The talks were highly constructive, purely technical and totally apolitical, according to Eslami. He said Iran would allow the IAEA to maintain its cameras and install new storage devices to enable video recordings of Iran's nuclear facilities to continue.

However, the video footage will remain sealed and will stay in Iran, Eslami said.

The head of the UN's nuclear watchdog hailed an agreement struck with Iran on Sunday, saying it allowed space for diplomatic talks. "This has always been seen, for me at least, as a stopgap, as a measure to allow time for diplomacy," Grossi told reporters at Vienna airport after returning from talks in Iran.

According to a recent IAEA report, Tehran is continuing to expand its nuclear programme. The report also said Iran was using more modern, powerful centrifuges to produce highly enriched uranium.

Tehran, meanwhile, claims its nuclear programme is solely for civilian purposes.

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