The IAEA has made clear that they desperately want a new monitoring deal with Iran, the last such deal having expired this summer. A deal is not yet made, but both sides reported constructive progress on the matter. IAEA Chief Rafael Grossi says he will visit Tehran soon to replace memory cards in monitoring cameras.
The IAEA has a lot of monitoring equipment in Iran, but no access to much of it since the monitoring deal expired. The weekend’s discussion was on servicing that equipment while they work on a new monitoring deal.
This is important because back in June, the Israeli sabotage attack on Karaj damaged some of the IAEA’s equipment. At least one camera was destroyed outright in this incident.
Ironically, a lot of the Iranian parliament’s push to dial back IAEA cooperation was the result of such sabotage attacks, trying to show that Iran takes them seriously even if the IAEA is largely silent on the matter.
More talks are planned, and could define the tone of IAEA relations with Iran’s new government. Iran’s government clearly wants to be somewhat reasonable, but hardliners will resist any effort to offer too much.