IAEA chief says agreement with Iran ‘gives time for diplomacy’

IAEA chief says agreement with Iran ‘gives time for diplomacy’

The head of the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog hailed an agreement struck with Iran on Sunday over access to surveillance equipment at Iranian nuclear facilities, saying it allowed space for diplomatic talks, The Times of Israel reports. 

“This has always been seen, for me at least, as a stopgap, as a measure to allow time for diplomacy,” International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Rafael Grossi told reporters at the Vienna airport, after returning from talks in Iran.

Iran and the IAEA had announced previously that they had agreed to allow inspectors to service the agency’s surveillance equipment, as Tehran has restricted access since earlier this year.

Grossi traveled to Iran on Saturday for talks, days after the IAEA had criticized Tehran in a report for a lack of cooperation.

He said the agreement on servicing the agency’s equipment would be put into practice “within a few days, very soon.”

Grossi added that, thanks to the agreement, the agency would “be able to keep the information needed to maintain continuity of knowledge” of Iran’s program.

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