Iran makes a sweeping pledge to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency before the board meeting

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran has given sweeping assurances to the International Atomic Energy Agency that it will finally help a long-stalled investigation into uranium particles found at undisclosed locations and even reinstall removed monitoring equipment, the International Atomic Energy Agency said on Saturday.

The International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran issued a joint statement regarding the return of IAEA chief Rafael Grossi from a trip to Tehran just two days before a quarterly meeting of the agency’s 35-nation board of governors.

Diplomats said the statement went into few details, but the prospect of a marked improvement in relations between the two countries is likely to prevent a Western push for another resolution ordering Iran to cooperate. However, Iran has made similar promises before that have yielded little or nothing.

“Iran has expressed its willingness to … provide more information and access to address outstanding safeguards issues.” Joint statement He said. A confidential IAEA report to member states seen by Reuters said Grossi “looks forward to … the immediate and full implementation of the joint statement.”

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Iran is supposed to provide access to information, locations and people, Grossi told a news conference at Vienna airport shortly after landing, which indicates a significant improvement after years of Iranian stalling.

Iran will also allow the reinstallation of additional monitoring equipment that was put in place under the 2015 nuclear deal, but then removed last year as the deal collapsed in the wake of the US withdrawal from the deal in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump. trump.

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But a spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Behrouz Kamalvandi, said Tehran had not agreed to let people in.

“During the two days that Mr. Grossi was in Iran, the issue of access to personnel was not raised,” Kamalvandi told the official IRNA news agency, adding that there was also no agreement reached on placing new cameras at Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Grossi said follow-up talks in Iran between the IAEA and Iranian officials with the aim of working out the details would happen “very, very soon.”

Asked if all monitoring equipment would be reinstalled, Grossi replied, “Yes.” When asked where it would be reinstalled, he only said it would be in a number of locations.

Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Louise Heavens and David Holmes

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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