Sunday, April 18

IAEA temporarily freezes Iran’s nuclear government


Tehern reaches an agreement with the UN atomic agency to continue complying with the Nuclear Treaty but limit inspections to certain plants and only release information once sanctions are lifted.

Zarif (left), at the meeting
Zarif (left), in the meeting with Grossi (right).REUTERS
  • Diplomacy US and EU offer Iran a way of atomic dialogue

The head of the UN atomic agency has bought time in Tehern. After hours of meetings in the Iranian capital, Rafael Grossi it announced tonight an “understanding” that will allow it to “continue with the necessary verification and observation activities” of the Iranian nuclear program “for a maximum of three months.” It is the time that observers estimate it will take to crystallize a dialogue between Iran and the US, promoted by Joe Biden’s team but hampered by its sanctions.

Iran was scheduled to suspend voluntary compliance with the Additional Protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) on Tuesday. This meant leaving the inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Organization (IAEA) virtually blind to a number of critical nuclear sites. It was the Iranian response to the prolongation, under Joe Biden’s baton, of the harsh sanctioning regime imposed by Donald Trump.

In a statement following the appointment from Grossi, who spoke positively, the IAEA announced that Iran would continue to fulfill “fully and without limitation” its role in the NPT, “as before.” I did not delve into details. A well-known Iranian journalist, based on unpublished sources, assured that Iran would not allow the inspectors access to certain facilities or give them access to the images of the cameras installed inside, but that, in the event of an agreement on the nuclear pact to lift the sanctions, will deliver all this material to the inspectors.

In the eyes of the European signatories of the atomic agreement of 2015, the nuclear measures that Iran undertook a year after the arrival of the sanctions, citing the European submission to the sanctioning pulse of Trump and relying on an epigraph of the also called PIAC which, in his opinion, allows him to renounce his commitments to the agreement if the other party does the same.

“During this time the Europeans told us that yes, that they had not placed embargoes on us, but that good, that they were forced to bow to the reality of the US blockade,” the Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister emphasized in a recent interview. Abbas Araghchi, calling the European signatories powerless.

In 2018, European companies cut ties with Iran out of fear of US retaliation, or difficulties transferring funds or shipping freight due to sanctions. For Tehern, that amounted to breaching the European part of the pact, which limited the nuclear program to peaceful purposes in exchange for the rest lifting all sanctions imposed until 2015. Consequently, the government will slightly increase the levels of uranium enrichment. -the agreement does not allow it to exceed 3.67% -, not to export the surplus of nuclear fuel and to install more centrifuges. The election of a Parliament tougher on the West a year ago, the worsening economy under sanctions, an attack on an Iraqi nuclear facility and the assassination of a nuclear scientist led the chamber to pass a larger measure in September. of legislation.

Although the so-called Strategic Law for the Lifting of Sanctions received criticism from the Executive, who warned that going too far with the measures could have adverse effects, the Cabinet approved them. Yesterday, the Foreign Minister, Mohamad javad zarif, explained in an interview that, as of tomorrow, the inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will not be able to receive the recordings of the observation cameras that they have installed in nuclear sites.

“All our steps [contrarios al acuerdo nuclear] they are reversible […]. The action of February 23 does not mean abandoning the agreement, “added Zarif, ensuring that his country is open to dialogue as long as Washington lifts its sanctions first, and as long as it returns to the channel of the agreement signed with Obama. But refusing, as some voices outside of Iran demand, to negotiate a cut to its controversial ballistic missile program.

The Iranians suspect that this demand is the reason for the slowdown in a return to PIAC, and for the failure of its proposal for “compliance by compliance” in a synchronized de-escalation coordinated by Josep Borrell as head of the PIAC joint commission. . But the so-called E3, the three European countries that signed the nuclear agreement – France, Germany and the United Kingdom – have this week sided with the US, criticizing the latest measures adopted by Iran, and warning of the risks of those announced. After the IAEA announcement, begins a countdown of three months to reach an understanding that avoids another surge in tension.

Urgent mobilization to save the pact

LL. M. H.

Last Thursday, Washington reached out for diplomacy with Iran; this Sunday, the advisor in National security of the White House assured CBS that “we have begun to communicate with the Iranians in the matter” of a series of prisoners in Iran with foreign passports that the United States considers “hostages” for political reasons. Tehern was quick to clarify that there is no direct contact with Washington, but through the Swiss embassy, ​​representing their interests in the Iranian Islamic Republic since the Revolution.

On the same day, a source assured the newspaper ‘The Times’ that the US president, Joe Biden, it is proposed to relieve certain sanctions to facilitate the dialogue. Signs of a complex de-escalation process that could begin with the “informal dialogue” to which Josep Borrell has invited Iranians and Americans in the framework of the nuclear pact. Tehern remains reluctant to such an appointment. He insists that any formal contact must be preceded by a lifting of sanctions.

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