The head of the UN nuclear weapons inspectorate was forced to qualify some of the claims he made about commitments he had extracted from Iran at the weekend about increasing access to UN inspectors.
Rafael Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), had said over the weekend that Iran pledged to restore cameras and other monitoring equipment at its nuclear sites and to allow more inspections at a facility where particles of uranium enriched to near weapons-grade were recently detected.
Two days before a quarterly meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s 35-nation Board of Governors, the IAEA and Iran said they had agreed to make progress on various issues, including a long-stalled IAEA inquiry into uranium particles found at three undeclared sites in Iran.
Grossi walked back some comments he made upon his return.
Grossi conceded that Iran’s concessions made during his visit to Tehran over the weekend depend to a large extent on future negotiations.
He said there was no agreement at this point on Iran handing over older footage and data taken by cameras and other equipment at the nuclear-related sites, or on the future provision of that footage and data. “There are certain things we need to clarify,” he said.
Grossi also said on Monday that his experts would “not take a very long time” to determine whether Iran had made a deliberate attempt to enrich uranium close to 90 percent purity, a level high enough to produce a nuclear bomb, or whether the spike had been unintended.
Grossi’s visit to Tehran came ahead of a meeting of the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency this week to discuss a possible further censure of Iran for failure to cooperate with inspectors.
If the IAEA board passes a highly critical resolution, Iran might again respond by increasing levels of uranium enrichment and stockpiles that are already far in excess of the limits set in the nuclear deal of 2015.