Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said Wednesday that no progress was made over a monitoring dispute with Iran during meetings with Iranian officials in Tehran on Tuesday.
“In terms of the substance … we were not able to make progress,” Grossi told reporters. He said that while the talks were “constructive,” they were “inconclusive.”
Grossi’s gripe stems from Iran’s move to stop voluntarily complying with the Additional Protocol, an aspect of the JCPOA that allows the IAEA to conduct snap inspections. But since the US hasn’t been a party to the JCPOA since 2018, Iran doesn’t need to comply with the agreement.
Indirect negotiations between the US and Iran to revive the JCPOA are set to resume on November 29th. This gives Iran less of a reason to grant the IAEA more access since the current situation can be used as leverage for the talks.
Earlier this year, Iran and the IAEA reached an agreement on the Additional Protocol that satisfied the nuclear watchdog. Under the deal, the IAEA was able to access surveillance footage of Iranian nuclear facilities. But an Israeli attack on an Iranian centrifuge warehouse in Karaj, Iran, damaged some IAEA cameras.
Iran hasn’t allowed the IAEA to reinstall the damaged cameras and has called on the nuclear watchdog to condemn the Israeli attack. But the IAEA has remained silent on Israel’s reckless aggression.