Iran curbs nuclear inspectors, but seems to leave space for a deal

After a weekend trip to Tehran, Rafael Grossi, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said on Sunday that his inspectors would have “less access” as of Tuesday, but that they could still monitor the key production sites where Iran has declared that it is making nuclear material. He did not describe what form those new limits would take, but he said there would be a three-month hiatus on some of Iran’s new restrictions under a “technical annex” that was not made public.

At the same time, Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said that under a law passed by the country’s Parliament, Tehran would no longer abide by an agreement with the nuclear agency that gives the inspectors the right to demand access to any site where they suspect nuclear activity may have taken place. He also said inspectors would be blocked from obtaining footage from security cameras that keep some of the sites under constant surveillance.

The vague announcement appeared to be part of the maneuvering in Iran over how to respond to an offer from the Biden administration to resume diplomatic contact over restoring the deal that President Donald J. Trump abandoned nearly three years ago.