Iran reaches deal with global nuclear watchdog for inspections over the next 3 months

Iran reaches deal with global nuclear watchdog for inspections over the next 3 months

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has struck a deal with Iran that will give its inspectors continued access to verify and monitor nuclear activity in the country for the next three months, potentially laying the ground work for Washington and Tehran to kick-start nuclear talks, CNN reports. 

IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi said Sunday that the two sides had reached the temporary "technical understanding" following his trip to Iran, which had recently signaled plans to scale back cooperation with the global nuclear watchdog.

Iran announced last week it would stop implementing the IAEA's additional protocol, effectively limiting which facilities nuclear inspectors could scrutinize and when they could access them, making it harder for experts to determine if Tehran is attempting to develop nuclear weapons.The interim deal reached Sunday would alleviate the impact of Iran pulling out of the additional protocol, Grossi said. "What we agreed to is something that is viable, it's useful to bridge this gap that we are having now, salvages the situation now," he said.

While the same number of international inspectors will remain in Iran, Grossi said, their access to nuclear facilities will be more limited and they will no longer be allowed to conduct last-minute "snap inspections."

"This is not a replacement for what we used to have. This is a temporary solution that allows us to continue to give to the world assurances of what is going on there, in the hope that we can return to a fuller picture," said Grossi.

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