A last-minute deal between Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog has raised hopes that Tehran may soon return to the negotiating table with the United States.
Talks to relaunch the Iran nuclear deal have been on hold since the summer.
The 2015 deal saw world powers pledge to end international sanctions in return for Tehran to end some of its nuclear work. But the United States, while under President Donald Trump, decided to withdraw from the deal in 2018,
Iran has now agreed to let the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) maintain the surveillance equipment at the country’s nuclear site.
This ends a deadlock between the two. However, as long as filming can continue, no access to the recordings will be granted.
IAEA chief Rafael Grossi was in Tehran on Sunday amid heightened tensions between Iran and the West over Iran’s nuclear program.
The two sides also agreed to continue their talks in Vienna as well as in Tehran, following discussions between Grossi and the new head of the Iranian nuclear agency Mohammad Eslami.
“Today, we are in a position to have a very concrete result which has to do with the continuity of the functioning of the equipment of the agency here, which is essential for us to provide the guarantees and the necessary information to the IAEA and to the world that everything is in order. ” Grossi said at the joint press conference with Eslami.
On the issue of UN inspectors’ access to Iranian nuclear sites, the agency was authorized to maintain the identified equipment and replace its storage media, which will be kept in Iran.
Tehran still has all video recordings at its sites and had previously threatened to ban inspectors from examining video footage of its operations until the 2015 nuclear deal gets back on track.
Meanwhile, Iran continues to enrich small amounts of uranium to its closest military-grade purity levels as its stocks continue to grow.