UN nuclear chief says Iran to grant ‘less access’ to program

The head of the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog says that Iran will begin offering its inspectors “less access” but will still allow the agency to monitor its atomic program.

Rafael Grossi made the comments on arrival to Vienna on late Sunday night. He was careful to say that there still would be the same number of inspectors, but there would be “things we lose.”

He did not offer many specifics, but Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that would include blocking the International Atomic Energy Agency from accessing footage on its cameras at nuclear sites.

Grossi’s had made a trip to Tehran as Iran tries to pressure Europe and the new Biden administration into returning to the 2015 nuclear deal, which President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from in 2018.

The head of the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog met Sunday with Iranian officials in a bid to preserve his inspectors’ ability to monitor Tehran’s atomic program, even as authorities said they planned to cut off surveillance cameras at those sites.

Grossi’s arrival in Tehran comes as Iran tries to pressure Europe and the new Biden administration into returning to the 2015 nuclear deal, which President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from in 2018.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who under President Hassan Rouhani helped reach the nuclear deal, said the cameras of the International Atomic Energy Agency would be shut off despite Grossi’s visit to follow a law passed by parliament.

“This is not a deadline for the world. This is not an ultimatum,” Zarif told the government-run, English-language broadcaster Press TV in an interview aired before he met Grossi. “This is an internal domestic issue between the parliament and the government.”

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