Iran restricts the work of international inspectors, Europe condemns, and Washington calls on Tehran to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency


Iran reduced the duties of international inspectors for its nuclear facilities, in implementation of a law passed by the Shura Council last December.

The United States urged Iran to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency after Tehran announced the start of reducing the work of IAEA inspectors in its nuclear facilities, while European countries considered the Iranian decision “dangerous.”

State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Tuesday that the United States is urging Iran again to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency of the United Nations, adding that Tehran is “moving far from complying with the restrictions imposed on it under the nuclear deal.”

Price added in a press conference that Washington will hold consultations with the agency to discuss the appropriate measure to support its dealings with Tehran. He stressed that the best solution to verify Iran’s nuclear program is through a negotiated solution.

Cut back on inspection

Yesterday, Tehran began reducing the work of inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency after the expiration of the deadline set by the Shura Council to lift the sanctions imposed by Washington after its unilateral withdrawal from the agreement on the Iranian nuclear program about 3 years ago.

Earlier on Tuesday, Tehran’s permanent representative to the United Nations in Vienna, Kazem Gharibabadi, stated that all permits granted to inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency had been suspended, as part of the “Strategic Action Plan for the Lifting of Sanctions Law,” which was approved by the Iranian parliament in Last December.

Abadi stressed that Iran, with the exception of implementing the “security inspection agreement,” does not bear other responsibilities, and that instructions have been given in this regard to the country’s nuclear facilities.

Iran announced the start of the suspension of the additional protocol to the safeguards agreement within the nuclear deal as of February 23, as part of the procedures for responding to the withdrawal of the United States from it, and what Tehran considers a failure of the European parties to compensate for the country’s losses due to US sanctions.

It should be noted that the additional protocol would have given IAEA inspectors the ability to inspect nuclear facilities at the time they deem appropriate.

On Monday, the Supreme Leader of the Iranian Revolution, Ali Khamenei, announced that his country may raise the purity of uranium enrichment to 60%, stressing that no party will be able to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons if his country so desires, but he made it clear that it does not pursue this goal.

In May 2018, Washington withdrew from the nuclear agreement signed in 2015 between Iran and the 5 + 1 group, which includes Russia, Britain, China, the United States, France and Germany, and imposed economic sanctions on Tehran.

European statement

Britain, France and Germany expressed, in a joint statement, “their deep regret” over Iran’s decision to limit visits by inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, stressing its “dangerous nature.”

The new Iranian step is the latest in a series of measures that began about a year after the American withdrawal, and included a gradual retreat from many of the basic obligations under the Vienna Agreement, while affirming readiness to return to their implementation in the event that sanctions are lifted and others respect their obligations.

The measure was preceded by a temporary technical agreement between Iran and the IAEA allowing it to continue inspection activities that would have been stopped completely.

The tripartite statement urged Iran to refrain from all measures that reduce “transparency” and to ensure full and timely cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The three countries confirmed that they are trying to preserve the Iranian nuclear deal through negotiations that lead to the return of Washington and Tehran to it.

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell acknowledged that the bloc did little to ease economic sanctions on Iran.

Borrell stressed in a speech to the Atlantic Council that Tehran’s return to full compliance with the nuclear agreement requires the easing of sanctions. He said that Iran was fully committed to its pledges contained in the agreement until the withdrawal of the United States.

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