Sunday, November 28

IAEA chief says time is running out to end stalemate in Iran workshop – archyde

  • Stalemate is the most pressing problem in Iran, says Grossi
  • The workshop was the victim of an apparent attack, with Iran blaming Israel
  • Since then, the IAEA has been unable to install cameras there
  • Problem complicates broader nuclear talks with Iran from Monday

VIENNA, November 24th (Reuters) – Time is running out for UN nuclear surveillance to gain access to reinstall cameras at a centrifuge parts workshop in Iran as the agency will soon no longer be able to guarantee that no equipment will be diverted to manufacture atomic bombs said his boss on Wednesday.

International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi spoke the day after a trip to Tehran in which he said he had made no progress on several disputes, the most urgent of which is access to the workshop at the TESA Karaj complex for two months after receiving Iran’s pledge allow it.

The workshop makes parts for advanced centrifuges – machines that enrich uranium – and was the victim of apparent sabotage in June. Tehran blames Israel for an attack that destroyed one of four IAEA cameras. Iran later removed all cameras and the footage of the destroyed camera is missing.

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“We’re close to the point where I can’t guarantee the continuity of knowledge,” Grossi said at a press conference on the first day of a quarterly meeting of his agency’s 35-member board of governors.

That would mean that there would be a loophole in the IAEA’s surveillance of sensitive facilities where a significant amount of material or equipment could be directed to a secret nuclear weapons program.

In a statement prior to the Board of Governors meeting, the United States said Iran should “immediately” allow the IAEA to reinstall cameras in Karaj, and that an ongoing stalemate on this issue is fueling efforts to revive a nuclear deal between Iran and the major Iranians Western countries by 2015 would make forces difficult.

The IAEA has repeatedly stated that it has no evidence that Iran has a secret weapons program and Iran insists that its targets are peaceful. But Grossi said he still doesn’t know if Karaj was up and running five months after the apparent attack.

“It is obvious that such a long period of time without us knowing whether operational activities are going on would at some point prevent me from continuing to say ‘I have an idea of ​​what is going on’. “, Said Grossi.


The indirect talks between the US and Iran are due to resume on Monday in Vienna. The aim is to bring Iran and the United States back fully into compliance with the agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The JCPOA lifted international sanctions against Tehran in exchange for restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activities, but little remains of the pact in practice at this time.

Then-President Donald Trump withdrew Washington from the deal in 2018 and re-imposed US sanctions, prompting Iran to gradually violate its restrictions and continue its nuclear activities.

“The resumption of mutual compliance with the JCPOA becomes more and more difficult the longer the gap in the knowledge continuity about the most important JCPOA obligations becomes”, US statement called.

The United States and its European allies would normally put pressure on Iran by trying to pass a resolution against it on the Board of Governors, but diplomats say this won’t happen this time for fear of jeopardizing the wider JCPOA talks.

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Editing by John Irish, Alex Richardson and Paul Simao

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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