GS Paper - 2 (International Relations)

Iran reached an agreement 12 September 2021 with the United Nations atomic agency that will grant international inspectors access to some of the country’s nuclear-related sites, a step likely to avert a crisis in the negotiations on restoring the 2015 nuclear deal.

What

  1. The agreement comes after International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Rafael Grossi made a last-minute trip to Tehran this weekend in a bid to persuade Iran to step up its cooperation with the agency ahead of a meeting of the IAEA’s top member states starting on 13 September 2021.
  2. The U.S., France, Britain and Germany had been discussing a formal censure motion against Iran next week if no agreement was reached.
  3. The joint statement said Iran and the agency also agreed to hold senior level discussions in coming weeks aimed at boosting cooperation on other issues, which will likely include the agency’s probe of unreported nuclear material found in Iran that Iranian officials have repeatedly failed to explain.
  4. Provided Iran follows through on the agreed terms, the U.S., France, Britain and Germany are now likely to shelve discussions of censuring Iran at an IAEA board meeting.

Flashback

  1. The 2015 nuclear agreement lifted most international sanctions on Iran in exchange for tight but temporary restrictions on Tehran’s nuclear activities.
  2. In May 2018, then-President Donald Trump pulled out of the accord and imposed sweeping sanctions on Iran.
  3. Beginning in the summer of 2019, Iran started progressively breaching the key restrictions in the accord.