IAEA reaches temporary agreement with Iran on nuclear verification

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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (1st L) meets with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi (1st R) in Tehran, Iran, on Feb. 21, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has reached a temporary bilateral understanding with Iran to salvage the nuclear deal for now, said its chief on Sunday.

Iran will stop the implementation of the voluntary measures as envisaged in the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, as of Feb. 23, to comply with a law passed by its parliament, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi told reporters after a visit from Tehran.

IAEA will continue with its necessary verification and monitoring activities for up to three months, according to a temporary bilateral technical understanding reached between the two sides, he said.

"There is less access, let's face it. But still we were able to retain the necessary degree of monitoring and verification work," Grossi told reporters.

He said that this temporary agreement allows other political discussions at other levels to take place and helps "avoid a situation in which we would have been, in practical terms, flying blind."

Iran's parliament approved in December 2020 the Strategic Action Plan to Counter Sanctions, a law mandating the Iranian government to re-launch 20-percent uranium enrichment, then stop implementing the IAEA's additional protocol if sanctions on Iran that should be lifted under JCPOA continues to be in place.

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