On Wednesday, officials said the Iranian government has agreed to give United Nations inspectors access to two previously guarded nuclear sites. The move is a shift in decision amid the rising tensions of an international dispute over the country's nuclear capability that has caused rifts between global allies and isolated the United States.
Nuclear site inspections
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran said in a joint statement that they had forged an agreement made in good faith for the conduct of inspections to find out if the Middle Eastern country's nuclear program continues to be peaceful.
According to The New York Times, the statement writes that Iran is giving the UN inspectors access to the site voluntarily and that the inspections have already been scheduled. The nuclear agency said that after what it referred to as intensive discussions, it had no further queries to Iran.
Two months ago, the IAEA suspected and accused Tehran of covering possible nuclear venture after Iranian officials denied inspectors access to two unverified areas.
The nuclear agency served as the UN's nuclear watchdog. It said that Iran spent almost one-year skirting questions about potential nuclear materials and activities that it has failed to declare.
However, amid the UN Security Council hovering over the idea of once again implementing international sanctions against Iran's economy and demolishing an accord agreed upon in 2015 that limited the country's nuclear program, Tehran has withdrawn from its previous sternness.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that the relationship between his country and the IAEA was excellent and expressed his hopes for their continued cooperation. Rouhani said the nuclear agency was burdened with the crucial responsibility of aiding Tehran to maintain the 2015 nuclear accord.
The consensus was reached after the director-general of the IAEA, Rafael Grossi, visited the Middle Eastern country to convince its officials to give the nuclear agency access to the aforementioned sites, as reported by VOA News.
The IAEA observed that while Iran continuously complied with the 2015 agreement, it was found that last year, the country began to exceed the limits on nuclear enrichment the deal set in place. The increase in capacity was a response to the United States' stiff sanctions as a result of President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the agreement.
The Islamic Republic News Agency said that the Iranian president noted that the majority of states on the Security Council continued to honor the 2015 deal and said that he hoped American unilateralism would soon come to an end.
Recently, however, Trump's administration has demanded the UN to implement once again broader, international sanctions against Tehran which the 2015 accord removed. The president of the Security Council said on Tuesday, however, that the lack of support for Trump's demand was absent, leading to the agency to disregard the call.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced his support for the restoration of the sanctions against Iran, stating that they are required as written under Security Council resolutions and calls for officials to punish Iran for failing to comply with some parts of the accord.
However, European diplomats stated that the UN must first settle a dispute mechanism which was similarly invoked by Britain, France, and Germany in January before sanctions take effect.