May 25, 2021: On Monday, the United Nations nuclear watchdog said it agrees with Iran in extending to monitor agreement by one month.
At a press conference, International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi said that the new deal would run through to June 24, which means that the information collected by technical equipment from the locations in Tehran would continue to be under the agency’s custody, Grossi said.
“I would say that if this understanding was important in February, it was even in my eyes more important now,” he said.
On Monday, Iran’s envoy to the IAEA said it separately that it had informed the agency that it had decided extending to monitor the deal for one month, Reuters reported, attributing the Etemad website.
Iran said on Sunday that a three-month monitoring deal between the Islamic Republic and the IAEA had expired, and the agency would no longer be able to access images from inside some Iranian nuclear sites.
The IAEA says its so-called “Additional Protocol” with Iran allows it to have broader access to information and locations in the country, “increasing its ability to verify the peaceful use of all nuclear material.”
There are 18 nuclear facilities in Iran and nine other locations under IAEA safeguards.
Late last year, Iran’s Parliament approved a bill that would suspend U.N. inspections of its nuclear facilities if European signatories did not provide relief from oil and banking sanctions by February.
“I want to stress this is not ideal, all right?” he continued. “This is like an emergency device that we came up with for us to continue having these monitoring activities while at the same time recognizing the fact that, as you all remember, there was a law passed by the Islamic Republic of Iran suspending several rights.”
Iran and global powers are scheduled to resume talks in Vienna, Austria, this week on reviving the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Former President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the agreement in 2018, reimposing sanctions on Iran.
Last month, Iran’s deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi said the country would start enriching uranium at 60%, a significant step toward weapons-grade material and far above levels agreed in the 2015 deal.