The Washington Post
Deal struck with IAEA on nuclear-site cameras
Iran agreed Sunday to allow international inspectors to install new memory cards in surveillance cameras at its sensitive nuclear sites and to continue filming there, potentially averting a diplomatic showdown this week.
The announcement by Mohammad Eslami of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran after a meeting with the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Mariano Grossi, in Tehran still leaves the watchdog in the same position it has faced since February, however.
Tehran holds all recordings at its sites as negotiations over the United States and Iran returning to the 2015 nuclear deal remain stalled in Vienna. Meanwhile, Iran is enriching small amounts of uranium to its closest levels to weapons-grade purity as its stockpile continues to grow.
Eslami described the negotiations with the IAEA as “sheerly technical.” He did not say whether Iran would hand over copies of the older recordings, which it had threatened to destroy.
The announcement could buy time for Iran ahead of an IAEA board meeting this week in which Western powers had been arguing for Tehran to be censured over its lack of cooperation with international inspectors.
The IAEA told member states last week that its verification and monitoring activities have been “seriously undermined” since February by Iran’s refusal to let inspectors access their monitoring equipment.
The IAEA said certain monitoring and surveillance equipment cannot be left for more than three months without being serviced. It was provided with access this month to four surveillance cameras installed at one site, but one of the cameras had been destroyed, and a second had been severely damaged.
Grossi said the broken and damaged cameras would be replaced, but he indicated that the technical agreement reached in Tehran was only a stopgap.