On Friday, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) slammed Iran’s new government for what he called an “astonishing” lack of contact.
“I have not had any contact with this government … that has been there for more than five months,” Rafael Grossi told reporters. Despite his claim, Grossi was in Iran in September and met with Iran’s new atomic energy chief. Grossi recognized this but downplayed the meeting as only “technical talks.”
Grossi is upset that he hasn’t been invited to Iran ahead of the upcoming IAEA board of governors meeting. “This is astonishing and I am saying it openly because I’m saying it to them. There’s a long list of things we need to discuss,” Grossi said.
Earlier this year, Iran stopped voluntarily complying with the Additional Protocol, an aspect of the JCPOA that allowed the IAEA to conduct snap inspections. Iran and the IAEA reached a temporary deal that allowed the nuclear watchdog to access the surveillance footage at Iranian nuclear facilities, but the agreement has since expired.
Grossi and the West portray Iran’s non-compliance with the Additional Protocol as a violation of the JCPOA. But since the US withdrew from the agreement back in 2018, Iran is not bound by its stringent rules.
Indirect negotiations between the US and Iran to revive the JCPOA are set to resume on November 29th. It’s likely that Iran doesn’t want to cut any more deals with the IAEA over JCPOA requirements until they get a better picture of what the future holds for the agreement.