IAEA, Iran Agree to Boost Inspections


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Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said Saturday upon his return from a trip to Iran that Tehran has agreed to restore 'certain accesses' at its nuclear sites and allow more inspections.

Iran has been stalling on agreements that would allow the IAEA to investigate facilities where particles of uranium have been detected. Iran has also agreed to the reinstallation of cameras and other monitoring equipment that had been removed from the sites.

The IAEA and the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran issued a joint statement Saturday saying the "high-level meetings" during Grossi's two-day visit "addressed the importance of taking steps in order to facilitate enhanced cooperation, to expedite as appropriate the resolution of outstanding safeguards issues."

The statement said the interactions between the IAEA and Iran "will be carried out in a spirit of collaboration, and in full conformity with the competences of the IAEA and the rights and obligations of the Islamic Republic of Iran, based on the comprehensive safeguards agreement."

Grossi spoke to reporters Saturday in Vienna. In response to a VOA reporter's question, Grossi said the IAEA and the Iranian agency "have agreed on a number of concrete things" and that the IAEA would have "certain accesses," but he did not list them.

He said his agency "will always be fully transparent in terms of its success which I hope for."

"We are taking steps in the right direction," Grossi said, "but I don't want to sound overly optimistic or overly pessimistic."

"I think it's hard work ahead for us," Grossi said, "a lot of work ahead for Iran and for us."