The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has made a deal with Iran that will give continued access to verify, inspect and monitor nuclear activity in the country for the next three months, acting as a beginning step for Washington and Tehran to start nuclear talks.
IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi said Sunday that the two sides had reached the temporary "technical understanding" following his trip to Iran, which had recently agreed to cooperate with the global nuclear watchdog.
Iran announced last week it would stop implementing the IAEA's additional protocol, limiting the facilities nuclear inspectors could watch and access, making it harder for experts to determine whether Tehran is developing nuclear weapons.
The interim deal reached Sunday would lessen the impact of Iran stepping down from the additional protocol, Grossi said. "What we agreed to is something that is viable, it's useful to bridge this gap that we are having now, salvages the situation now," he said.
"This is not a replacement for what we used to have. This is a temporary solution that allows us to continue to give to the world assurances of what is going on there, in the hope that we can return to a fuller picture," said Grossi.
IAEA monitors had been granted sweeping inspection rights as part of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a landmark agreement that was intended to limit Iran's nuclear program and prevent the country from developing nuclear weapons in exchange for sanctions relief. Iran has long held that its nuclear program is intended for peaceful purposes, despite skepticism from the international community.
When Former President Donald Trump started to object to the deal, Iran slowly stepped back from the commitment aiming to enrich themselves in uranium. However, after President Biden signaled to restart nuclear talks, things are looking on the bright sides as Iran is giving all the positive signals.
"We're at an early stage here," Sullivan said. "It's going to take work, it's going to take hard-headed, clear-eyed diplomacy, and ultimately it's going to take a decision by Iran that they are prepared to take the steps required to assure the world, and prove to the world, that their (nuclear) program is for exclusively peaceful purposes," told the state security officials.