The Canadian press

The UN nuclear chief says Iran should give “less access” to the program

Tehran, Iran – Iran will offer UN inspectors “less access” to its nuclear program as part of its pressure campaign against the West, although investigators will still be able to monitor Tehran’s work, the chief of the UN nuclear watchdog said On Sunday. Rafael Grossi’s comments came after an emergency trip to Iran during which he said the International Atomic Energy Agency had “reached a technical understanding” with Tehran to allow monitoring of its nuclear program for up to three months. His remarks to journalists, however, underscored a tighter window for the US and others to contact Iran, which is already enriching and storing uranium at levels far beyond what the 2015 nuclear deal with the world powers allows. “The IAEA hoped to stabilize a situation that was very unstable,” said Grossi at the airport after his arrival in Vienna, where the agency is based. “I think this technical understanding makes it so that other political consultations can take place at other levels and, above all, we can avoid a situation in which we would have flown virtually blind.” Grossi, the IAEA Director General, admitted few details Known of the deal he had reached with Iranian leaders, he said the number of inspectors on site would remain the same but “what is changing is the type of activity” the agency was able to carry out without further elaboration stressed that surveillance will continue “in a satisfactory manner.” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who helped achieve the nuclear deal under President Hassan Rouhani, said the IAEA would be prevented from accessing footage of its cameras at nuclear sites during one state television interviews on Sunday, before his meeting with Grossi. “This is not a deadline for the world t is not an ultimatum, “Zarif told the government-run English language broadcaster Press TV.” This is an internal domestic matter between parliament and the government. “We have a democracy. We are supposed to implement the laws of the country. And parliament has passed laws – whether we like it or not.” Zarif’s comments marked the highest recognition yet of what Iran was up to when it pulled out of the so-called “Additional Protocol,” a confidential agreement between Tehran and the IAEA reached under the landmark 2015 nuclear deal. The IAEA has additional protocols with a number of countries that it oversees. As part of the protocol with Iran, the IAEA collects and analyzes “hundreds of thousands of images taken daily by their sophisticated surveillance cameras,” the agency said in 2017. The agency also announced at the time that it had placed “2,000 tamper-evident seals of nuclear material and equipment. ” In his interview, Zarif said the authorities are “legally obliged not to make the tapes from these cameras available”. It wasn’t immediately clear whether this also meant turning off the cameras completely, as Zarif described this as a “technical decision, this is not a political decision”. “The IAEA will certainly not receive any footage from these cameras,” said Zarif. Grossi did not respond to Zarif’s camera comments on Sunday evening, but emphasized that the European and US heads of state and government must save the situation through negotiations. “What we have agreed is something that It is useful to fill that gap,” said Grossi. “It saves this situation now, but for a stable, sustainable situation there must of course be a political negotiation, and that’s not up to me.” There are 18 nuclear facilities and nine other locations in Iran that are placed under IAEA protection. In 2018, then-President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled the US out of the nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, saying it needed to be renegotiated as Iran has since pulled away from the deal’s restrictions to put pressure on the other signatories – Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China – to create new economic incentives to offset US sanctions, these countries have insisted the importance of keeping the deal alive so that inspectors continue to scrutinize Iranian nuclear activity can. Washington-based US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said President Joe Biden remains ready to negotiate with Iran over a return to the nuclear deal, an offer Zarif previously turned down is ready to take to the table to Talk to the Iranians about how we can get back tough restrictions on their nuclear program, “Sullivan told CBS’s Face the Nation.” This offer remains because we believe diplomacy is the best way to do it. ” To the US citizens detained by Iran, Sullivan added, “We have begun communicating with the Iranians on this issue.” Iranian State Department spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told state television late Sunday evening, replying Sullivan that “there are no direct talks between Iran and the US in any area.” However, Khatibzadeh said the Swiss embassy in Tehran, which was held in the J For the decades since the hostage crisis of 1979, I have been on the lookout for American interests, and since Biden took office, I have passed messages between countries on prisoner issues. Grossi had met with Ali Akbar Salehi on the previous Sunday. The Iranian parliament passed a bill in December that should suspend some of the UN inspections of its nuclear facilities if the European signatories do not allow oil and banking sanctions to be eased by Tuesday. Iran is already slowly moving away from all the nuclear deal restrictions on its uranium supplies have started to enrich by 20%, a technical step away from weapons quality. It has also started spinning advanced centrifuges that were banned by the deal, causing Iran to curtail its program of economic sanctions in exchange for lifting the uranium inventory. An escalating series of incidents since Trump’s withdrawal has threatened the Middle East. Over a year ago, a US drone attack killed a top Iranian general that caused Tehran to later fire ballistic missiles that wounded dozens of American troops in Iraq. A mysterious explosion also hit Iran’s Natanz nuclear power plant, which Iran has called sabotage. In November, Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who founded the country’s military nuclear program about two decades earlier, was killed in an attack in which Tehran blamed Israel. Zarif raised the attacks in his interview with state television, saying the IAEA must keep some of its information confidential for security reasons. “Some of them may have an impact on the security of Iran, whose peaceful nuclear facilities have been attacked,” said Zarif. “For a country whose nuclear scientists have been murdered in the past – and now recently with Fakhrizadeh – in terrorist operations, confidentiality applies.” ___ Jon Gambrell reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and David Rising from Berlin. Associate press writer Zeke Miller contributed to this report from Washington. Amir Vahdat, Jon Gambrell and David Rising, The Associated Press