IAEA Chief Defends Weekend Deal as Iran Starts Reduced Access

Iran: IAEA can have more access for sanctions relief

IAEA chief Rafael Grossi continues to defend the new compliance deal with Iran, which reduces access as Iran’s Parliament mandated but in a way that the IAEA can live with. Data will still be collected, but access will only be granted on a necessary basis.

Iran has announced the start of the reduced access, but reiterated that the IAEA can have all the access they want if the sanctions relief promised under the deal finally comes through.

While some are trying to spin this as Iranian defiance, the Rouhani government has been carefully working with the IAEA on these matters, including the 20% enrichment, to be as transparent as possible while not offering any additional cooperation beyond what is required and prudent.

This is important because the Iranians want to encourage the P5+1 nuclear parties to comply with the deal too, and since Trump scrapped US participation, Iran has been doing everything promised and getting nothing in return.

With hope that the US is now of a mind to get involved again, Iran wants to both show that they are being reasonable, and that they are willing to withhold some voluntary measures to convince the US that the deal is worth salvaging.

That’s the hope, at least, though Biden is pushing for Iran to come back into full compliance first, and the State Department’s suggestions of making the deal tougher and more restrictive on Iran is giving Iranian hardliners reason for concern.

Iran is trying to keep its options open at this point, but the unwillingness to take the first step is going to be a struggle for both sides, as years of history have built a lot of mistrust into the process. Still, there is a deal to be had, and much better than the alternative.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.