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UN atomic agency reaches agreement with Iran
By Dilan Sirwan for Rudaw.net
12-09-2021 - ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - Iran has agreed to allow the United Nation’s atomic agency to service surveillance equipment after Tehran restricted access earlier this year. 
Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi visited Tehran and met the head of Iran’s atomic energy agency (AEOI) Mohammad Eslami on Sunday, less than a week after the IAEA said Iran is undermining its monitoring tasks.
“IAEA's inspectors are permitted to service the identified equipment and replace their storage media which will be kept under the joint IAEA and AEOI seals in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” read a joint statement, adding that the methods and timing are agreed upon by both sides.
The statement added that both sides reaffirmed “the spirit of cooperation and mutual trust and its continuation and emphasized on the necessity of addressing the relevant issues in a constructive atmosphere and exclusively in a technical manner.”
On Tuesday, the IAEA said that Iran is undermining the agency’s monitoring tasks by suspending some inspections of its nuclear activities, dictated under the 2015 nuclear deal. 

"Since 23 February 2021, the Agency's verification and monitoring activities have been seriously undermined as a result of Iran's decision to stop the implementation of its nuclear-related commitments,” read a report from the agency.
The following day, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi blamed the IAEA, saying it would be “illogical” to expect Iran’s cooperation to continue if the UN’s atomic energy agency adopts an “unconstructive approach.”
In a press conference in Tehran, Grossi said “all issues between the organization and the agency are basically technical and political issues have no place in this regard.”
“I am glad that our talks have had constructive results for the continuation of cooperation and operations of the IAEA technical equipment, which is important for this institution and the world," he added.
After Washington withdrew from the nuclear deal and re-imposed sanctions in 2018, Iran steadily walked back on its obligations under the accord, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), boosting its enrichment of uranium and bringing more advanced centrifuges online. 
Discussions to bring the United States back into the deal, lifting sanctions, and bringing Iran back to full compliance with its nuclear obligations were making progress earlier this summer, but were suspended pending the inauguration of Raisi. More than a month into Raisi’s administration, the talks still have not resumed.
In August, both Washington and the European Union urged Iran to return to the Vienna talks. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned on Wednesday that time was running after a scathing report by the UN atomic watchdog and Tehran's signals that it would take a while to return to talks.
Iranian officials have on multiple occasions placed blame on the US, which has continued its harsh sanction regime. Tehran says it has never violated the agreement.
While Iran is steadily improving its uranium enrichment capabilities, it has on several occasions said its goal is not development of a nuclear weapon.

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