iran: UN agency urges Iran to resume stalled nuclear talks ‘now’

WASHINGTON: The International Atomic Energy Agency on Sunday urged Iran resume talks “now” to avoid a crisis that could make saving the 2015 nuclear deal “extremely difficult”.
Iran this week disconnected some cameras that allow international inspectors to monitor its nuclear activities under a Western resolution passed on June 8 in which the United Nations agency Quoc accused Tehran of lack of cooperation.
27 surveillance cameras “removed”, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi said in an interview that aired Sunday by CNN, calling it a “very serious move.”
“Recent history tells us that it’s never a good thing to start telling international inspectors to go home … things get much more complicated,” he added.
The 2015 deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, freed Iran from crippling economic sanctions in return for curbing its nuclear activities.
But in 2018, the then US president Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the treaty and re-imposed sanctions, prompting Iran to begin reverting to its own commitments.
Negotiations to restore the deal have been stalled since March.
In an interview with CNN, Grossi said he is telling his Iranian counterparts: “We have to sit down now, we have to deal with the situation, we have to keep working together.
“The only way for Iran to have the trust, the trust that it so desperately needs to move its economy forward … is to allow IAEA inspectors to be present.”
Without surveillance cameras, Grossi said, his agency would soon be unable to declare whether Iran’s nuclear program is “peaceful” – as Tehran has repeatedly asserted – or whether Iran is developing an atomic bomb. death or not.
Even if the Iranians reconnect the cameras in a few months, Grossi said, whatever work they do in the meantime will remain secret, potentially rendering any deal useless.
As a result, he said, Iran’s recent actions make “the path back to a deal extremely difficult.”
While Trump pulled the US away from what he said was a bad deal, his successor Joe Biden said he was willing to continue implementing the deal as long as Iran honors its commitments.
But negotiators have faced repeated frustration, and the possibility of failure looms closer than ever.
In a phone call Saturday with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged diplomats to save the deal, according to a statement Sunday.

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