IAEA Chief: Getting Harder to Extend Iran’s Monitoring Deal

Election looms, and deal's one-month extension won't last long

After Iran’s parliament called for a downgrade of voluntary cooperation, the monitoring agreement for their nuclear program has been vital for the IAEA to keep monitoring compliance with the JCPOA nuclear deal.

Internal politics are threatening to get in the way, however, as the inability to reach a long-term deal to salvage JCPOA and bring the US back into the pact has left everything up to this temporary monitoring deal.

Originally meant to be three months long, the deal expired in late May, and was extended for a single month. The Iranian presidential election is right around the time of the next expiration, late in June.

IAEA chief Rafael Grossi says it’s getting harder to extend the deal, and that’s because President Rouhani’s term in office is up, and Iranian officials are going to leave it up to the next government to work out.

The monitoring deal is necessary for the broader JCPOA deal, and if the P5+1 drag their feet on it until after the election they might find a new government that is more difficult work with, making this time all the more precious.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.