Jue. Mar 30th, 2023

Iran has voluntarily agreed to submit to more verification measures, still to be specified, within the efforts of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and to clarify doubts about the nature of its nuclear program, both parties announced today in a joint statement.

The agreement was announced after a meeting between the IAEA director, Rafael Grossi, in Tehran, and the Iranian president, Ebrahim Raisi, so that the collaboration «returns to the right path,» the Argentine diplomat said at a press conference in Vienna. .

«We have put a tourniquet on the bleeding of information that we use,» said Grossi when summarizing this agreement to address pending issues such as the remains of uranium enriched to 84%, well above the expected, or on traces of artificial uranium in three facilities that Tehran will never declare as part of its atomic program.

«Iran, on a voluntary basis, will allow the IAEA to carry out other appropriate verification and monitoring activities,» said the joint statement made public shortly before Grossi’s arrival in Vienta after his trip to Tehran.

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The note notes Iran’s willingness to continue its cooperation and provide more information on those three facilities where uranium of artificial origin was detected.

Grossi said that the verification measures will go through having access to certain individuals and certain materials, as well as restoring control through cameras and remote measurement systems that had been disconnected.

Likewise, he said that there will be 50% more inspection at the Fordow plant, where these 84% uranium traces have been detected, a level close to that necessary to manufacture a nuclear bomb.

Iran has denied that it has enriched uranium to that purity and affirms that the appearance of these particles is «something natural» within the process of producing 60% uranium «It is a very good improvement in terms of transparency,» Grossi said.

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The IAEA director said that his organization does not analyze whether this level of enrichment was intentional or not, but that it is a matter that must be clarified, and he acknowledged that in this type of facility there may be «oscillations» or «peaks » «which may be accidental or limited in time.

He said the intention is to understand how it happened and if there has been an accumulation of uranium enriched to that level.

The Argentine diplomat affirmed that this agreement is very important within the possibility of reactivating the JCPOA, the 2015 pact by which Iran reduced its atomic program in exchange for the lifting of sanctions, and which was fractured after its departure from the United States in 2018 and Iran’s defaults a year later.

The IAEA is in charge of monitoring Iran’s compliance with its commitments.

«Now we can start working again, rebuilding this information base. This is not words, it is something very concrete. It was a deficit that it needs and we have agreed with Iran that it will be addressed,» Grossi said.

The IAEA has spent years trying to clear up these outstanding issues about the nature of Iran’s nuclear program.

In a report released this week, the IAEA recorded that Iran’s decision to disconnect dozens of IAEA surveillance and verification cameras hampered its ability to provide assurances about the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program.

For this reason, surveillance and verification activities are «seriously affected», says the IAEA, which must verify compliance with Iran’s nuclear obligations under the JCPOA


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