The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) has shed light on an agreement with the UN nuclear agency to replace cameras at a nuclear facility that were damaged by an act of sabotage in June, explaining that the equipment will be re-installed only after “meticulous” examination.
Behrouz Kamalvandi made the remarks on Thursday, one day after reports said Iran had taken a voluntary measure to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) access to a number of cameras that had been damaged during a terrorist operation at the TESA Karaj Complex, a centrifuge component manufacturing workshop near Tehran.
“Following exchanges of views between the AEOI and the IAEA, particularly based on recent talks between the heads of the agencies Mohammad Eslami and Rafael Grossi, it was decided that the IAEA will have the necessary cooperation [with Iran] in precise technical, security and judicial inspections of the Agency’s cameras at the TESA Karaj Complex. This measure is meant to soothe concerns that saboteurs may take advantage of the cameras,” he said.
“Of course, due to the immunity that these cameras have, it is not possible to open them without the consent of the Agency. To this end, the two sides agreed that a camera will be provided to Iran for detailed technical examination. The IAEA technicians will also answer the technical questions that our security and safety experts have regarding the cameras. Finally, after careful and necessary checks, the Agency’s cameras will be re-installed.”
Kamalvandi also noted that the IAEA cameras would take photos and store them. The memory cards will be extracted and sealed by both Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog.
“In other words, the IAEA will in no way have access to this data,” he said. “This is in line with the Strategic Action Law that was approved by the Parliament to lift sanctions and protect the interests of the Iranian nation. Under the law, the IAEA cannot have oversight beyond the Safeguards Agreement.”
The recorded data, he added, will only be provided to the IAEA if the goal of the law is materialized, i.e. all sanctions are removed.
Iran and the P4+1 group of countries that comprises the UK, France, Russia, and China plus Germany, have been holding several rounds of talks in the Austrian capital.
The talks are aimed at examining the prospect of removal of the sanctions that the United States re-imposed against Tehran in 2018 after leaving a historic nuclear agreement between Iran and the above countries.