May 24, 2021 - World

Iran agrees to extend inspections to give time for nuclear talks

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Photo: Iranian Presidency Handout via Getty

Iran has reached a deal with the UN's nuclear watchdog to continue inspections of its nuclear sites for another month.

Why it matters: While unstated, the reason for the extension is to allow for more time to negotiate a return to the 2015 nuclear deal.

Details: Iran is extending through June 24 an agreement reached three months ago with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that allows the IAEA's cameras to record the activities in Iran's nuclear sites.

  • Yes, but: If the U.S. and Iran fail to reach a deal, Iran could delete the data without presenting it to the IAEA and end the watchdog's ability to monitor its nuclear program.
  • IAEA director general Rafael Grossi said the agreement could potentially be extended again in a month.

What’s next: U.S., Iranian and European officials have all expressed increased optimism about the trajectory of the nuclear talks ahead of a fifth round starting Tuesday in Vienna.

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