Iran Pledges to Cooperate With UN on Monitoring Nuclear Program

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Senior Reporter
Jack Phillips is a reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
September 12, 2021 Updated: September 12, 2021

Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reached an agreement on Sunday allowing the U.N. watchdog group to update cameras at Iran’s nuclear sites, according to a joint statement.

The statement from the IAEA said that the two sides “decided to maintain their mutual interactions and meetings at relevant levels,” and U.N. officials will now “visit Tehran in the near future to hold high-level consultations with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran with the aim of enhancing cooperation between Iran and the IAEA in different fields and discussing current issues of mutual interest.”

U.N. nuclear inspectors can now maintain recording equipment and “replace their storage media,” the statement said.

Mohammad Eslami, an official with Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, made a similar announcement after a meeting was held with the director-general of the IAEA, Rafael Grossi, in Tehran on Sunday.

“We had a major, major communication breakdown with Iran, which, of course, is something we cannot afford, having so many important issues that we need to solve,” Grossi told reporters on his return from Tehran. “And I think that was solved.”

“The reconstruction and the coming together of the jigsaw puzzle will come when there is an agreement at the JCPOA level,” he said, a reference to the talks on reviving the 2015 deal between Iran and world powers. “But at that time, we will have all this information and there will not have been a gap.”

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 now enriching small amounts of uranium to its closest-ever levels to weapons-grade purity as its stockpile continues to grow.

Tehran threatened previously to destroy copies of older recordings at the country’s nuclear facilities. It’s not clear whether Iran will hand them over, as previously requested by U.N. officials.

“The memory cards are sealed and kept in Iran, according to the routine,” Eslami said, reported The Associated Press. ”New memory cards will be installed in cameras. That is a routine and natural trend in the agency’s monitoring system.”

The United States withdrew from the Obama administration-brokered Iran nuclear deal in 2018 during the Trump administration. The Iranian regime has since frequently violated the limits placed on its nuclear program.

The one-day visit by Grossi to Tehran was his first since Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi took power in August.

AP contributed to this report.

Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Senior Reporter
Jack Phillips is a reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.