The Washington Post

No IAEA rebuke despite lack of key ‘promise’

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Western powers on Monday scrapped plans for a resolution criticizin­g Iran at the U.N. atomic watchdog after Tehran agreed to prolong monitoring of some nuclear activities, even though the watchdog said Iran made no “promise” on another key issue.

The decision by the United States, France, Britain and Germany not to push for a resolution at this week’s meeting of the Internatio­nal Atomic Energy Agency’s 35-nation Board of Governors avoids an escalation with Iran that could have killed hopes of resuming wider talks on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

During a last-minute visit to Tehran this weekend by IAEA chief Rafael Grossi, Iran agreed to grant his agency overdue access to its equipment in Iran that monitors some sensitive areas of the country’s nuclear program. Inspectors will swap out memory cards more than two weeks after they were to be replaced.

Grossi said Sunday that the agreement solved “the most urgent issue” between the IAEA and Iran. He made clear on Monday, however, that on another source of concern — Iran’s failure to explain uranium traces found at several old but undeclared sites — he had obtained no firm commitment­s.

“I did not receive any promise,” Grossi said at a news conference when asked about the matter.

The aim of the weekend agreement was to buy time for wider diplomatic efforts aimed at bringing the United States and Iran fully back into the 2015 deal, which imposed restrictio­ns on Iran’s nuclear activities in return for the lifting of sanctions. President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the deal in 2018.

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