Iran has agreed to give access to two former suspected nuclear facilities after a month-long tug-of-war with the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
According to the international news agency, the agreement between the two sides came as a result of high-level talks during IAEA chief Rafael Grossi’s visit to Tehran.
Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s nuclear agency, said in a joint statement that Iran will voluntarily give the IAEA access to the two locations it has identified.
The IAEA has been trying for months to gain access to facilities in Tehran and Isfahan, where Iran has been accused of storing and using undeclared nuclear material.
In June this year, the IAEA stepped up pressure on Iran to allow inspectors access to the sites after the board of governors passed a resolution.
Iran was asked to fully cooperate with the IAEA in implementing the NPT Safe Guards Agreement and additional measures.
The resolution was tabled by France, Germany and the United Kingdom at a meeting of the Board of Governors, with 25 members voting in favour, two against and seven abstentions.
Iran has denied access to two IAEA markings, with the agency fearing that security measures are not being fully implemented there.
Iran has consistently rejected these demands, but now a formal agreement has been reached between the two sides.
According to state media, President Hassan Rouhani told Raphael Grossi that Iran is ready to cooperate with the IAEA as before.
It may be recalled that IAEA chief Raphael Grossi visited Iran in 2015, just days before the signing of the nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers.
The agreement with Iran was dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), under which Iran agreed to limit its nuclear program.
In an agreement with world powers, Iran promised not to continue building nuclear weapons, in response to which international sanctions were lifted.
Iran was allowed to export its oil and gas to any country in the world.
Later, when Donald Trump was elected President of the United States and in 2018 he unilaterally announced the termination of the agreement with Iran and restored economic sanctions on Iran.
Following the US move, Iran faced economic difficulties and announced the resumption of its nuclear activities.
The United States last week accused Iran of violating the JCPOA and sought further action.
On the other hand, European countries France, Germany and Britain, which are members of the agreement, rejected the US attempt and said that the US has no authority to take such steps because it is no longer a party to the agreement.