Iran, IAEA reach temporary agreement on limited nuclear inspections

Photo: IAEA IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi addresses the media at Vienna International Airport, 21 February.

Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reached a temporary agreement on continued nuclear inspections on Sunday, but access will be reduced, IAEA chief Rafael Grossi said after returning from Tehran to Vienna. "There is less access, but still we were able to retain the necessary degree of monitoring and verification", Grossi said, cited by dpa.

Tehran had announced this week that it would curb access for IAEA inspectors starting next Tuesday, in a bid to pressure the United States into lifting sanctions and returning to the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and major powers.

When Grossi was asked whether he would still be able to check if Iran's nuclear activities were purely peaceful or aimed at building nuclear weapons, he said: "Not as I was before, but in a satisfactory manner."

The compromise deal that Grossi reached in talks with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Iran's nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi is only temporary and will last three months.

Grossi stressed that the tensions over Iran's nuclear programme and its fraying nuclear deal will have to be solved not by him but on the bigger political stage.

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