In Brief: 2015 JCPOA no longer sufficient for 2022, IAEA warns

Ayatollah Khamenei. Image Credit: Tasnim News, CC BY 4.0.

The head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog has warned that the restrictions faced by his inspectors in Iran threaten to give the world only a “very blurred image” of Tehran’s program as it enriches uranium closer than ever to weapons-grade levels.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Rafael Mariano Grossi said he wanted to tell Iran that there was “no way around” his inspectors at the International Atomic Energy Agency if Tehran wanted to be “a respected country in the community of nations”.

Grossi also claimed that the advances made by Iran since the collapse of the 2015 nuclear deal meant that there would have to be change to the original agreement.

“The reality is that we are dealing with a very different Iran”, he said. “2022 is so different from 2015 that there will have to be adjustments that take into consideration these new realities”.

“There’s no other country other than those making nuclear weapons reaching those high levels” of uranium enrichment, Grossi continued.

“I’ve said many times that this doesn’t mean that Iran has a nuclear weapon. But it does mean that this level of enrichment is one that requires an intense verification effort”.