Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, Rafael Mariano Grossi from Argentina, addresses the media during a news conference behind plexiglass shields regarding the agency’s monitoring of Irans’s nuclear energy program at the International Center in Vienna, Austria, Monday, May 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Florian Schroetter)
UPDATED 7:21 AM PT – Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) havem agreed to extend surveillance at Tehran’s nuclear sites. IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi told reporters in Austria Monday that the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog agency would keep its monitoring devices in place until June 24.
“One thing that we had agreed on back in February was that at the expiration of the technical understanding, the information would be erased,” stated the IAEA chief. “And this is not going to happen, so this is an important aspect.”
The temporary three month agreement that expired Saturday was an attempt to encourage Iran’s cooperation with inspectors. Tehran’s compliance began to falter in February as they violated terms of the failed 2015 nuclear deal to pressure the U.S. into lifting sanctions.
“I want to stress, this is not ideal,” Grossi stated. “This is like an emergency device that we came up with in order for us to continue having these monitoring activities.”
The extension buys more time for negotiations between the U.S. and Iran to salvage an Obama-era nuclear deal, which aimed to limit Tehran’s enrichment of uranium. President Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018 after calling it “horribly one-sided.”
At the time, President Trump said that at the point when the U.S. had maximum leverage, the Obama administration gave billions of dollars to the Iranian terror regime.
“The agreement was so poorly negotiated that even if Iran fully complies, the regime could still be on the verge of a nuclear breakout in just a short period of time,” stated the 45th President. “The deal’s inspection provisions lack adequate mechanisms to prevent, detect and punish cheating.”
FILE – This Jan. 15, 2011 file photo shows Arak heavy water nuclear facilities, near the central city of Arak, 150 miles (250 kilometers) southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo/ISNA, Hamid Foroutan, File)
According to experts, there are as many as two dozen facilities active in Iran’s covert nuclear weapons program. Inspectors have only visited three of these sites and found traces of processed uranium.