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Iran Curbs Nuclear Inspectors, but Appears to Leave Space for a Deal

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“Grossi mitigated some damage,” Andrea Stricker, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, which has been a major critic of the Iran deal, said on Sunday. But she added that “reduced monitoring in any form is extremely problematic due to the major nuclear advancements Iran has been undertaking,” especially after the agency began to raise questions about past nuclear activity at sites where it had found traces of radioactive material.

“The I.A.E.A. needs to publish the technical agreement and explain exactly how monitoring has been reduced so the international community can assess the severity of Iran’s step,” Ms. Stricker said.

Henry Rome, an Iran expert at the Eurasia Group, said the announcement on Sunday “presents an opening, but we’re not out of the woods yet,” noting that the country continued to ramp up its uranium enrichment and test new, more advanced centrifuges to produce the fuel.

The announcement that Iran had reached some sort of an accommodation with Mr. Grossi that could buy time for diplomacy prompted reactions from all factions in Iran. And the absence of details from the country’s atomic energy agency and from the international nuclear agency gave material to both those who wanted to restore the deal and those who thought it was far too restrictive on Iran’s abilities.

Conservative commentators took to social media to criticize the government for going around the law passed by Parliament in January that mandates limiting access for inspectors.

“Skirting the law?” Seyed Nezameddin Mousavi, a conservative lawmaker, tweeted on Sunday, suggesting that the government was trying to route around Parliament’s actions. “It looks my anxiety was justified.”

Supporters of diplomacy praised the government for thinking creatively about how to acknowledge the legal requirement without removing inspectors. Some suggested that the compromise involved Iran’s agreement to preserve the footage recorded by security cameras that monitor fuel production but not hand them to inspectors until the 2015 deal is restored.

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