The director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, has insisted that the United States and Iran must take steps to restore the nuclear agreement, insisting that the temporary pact with Tehran that will allow reviews by the agency’s technicians provides a “window of opportunity” for negotiation.
In an intervention before the joint Defense, Foreign Affairs and Industry committees in the European Parliament, the Argentine diplomat used irony to say that “to dance a tango, it takes two”, in reference to the choreography that Washington should follow to return to the pact and Tehran to full compliance.
“Everyone has a responsibility, each one different. It is true that the United States withdrew before but there is an intention of the new Administration to return,” Grossi has pointed out, in reference to the fact that Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the agreement and imposed sanctions on Iran.
All in all, he has assured that in recent years Tehran has been breaching the agreement and accumulating new technology and nuclear resources so it is necessary to “put the house in order” to return to compliance. “I speak to everyone, I hope that everyone will benefit from the neutral role of the IAEA,” he said.
Before the MEPs, Grossi defended the role of the agency in Iran, where he traveled at the end of February to agree on a temporary agreement to supplement the voluntary monitoring measures provided for in the nuclear agreement. In this way he has insisted that a 90-day “window of opportunity” is opening in which he hopes diplomacy can move forward.
“We achieved a temporary technical understanding, necessary and limited but allowing the basic activities of the IAEA. It is not the same as having access rights as before, but it is a transitional agreement that I hope we can work on,” the agency’s director told the European Parliament.
REVIVING THE NUCLEAR AGREEMENT
Iran and six international powers–Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, China, France and Germany–signed the agreement in July 2015, whereby Iran agreed to limit its nuclear program and certify its peaceful purposes in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.
However, in May 2018, Washington unilaterally tore up the pact and activated sanctions against Iran on the grounds that Iran was continuing to develop nuclear weapons. A year later, Iran began to gradually cut back on the fulfillment of its nuclear commitments in the absence of progress with the rest of the countries to counter the U.S. restrictions as foreseen in the agreement.
The possible return of the United States to the nuclear agreement after Joe Biden’s victory in the US presidential elections has given a new prominence to this pact and has focused the efforts of the EU, which acts as guarantor of the pact and mediator between the parties.