Iran begins restricting short-notice nuclear inspections
IslamNews – Iran has begun restricting inspections of its nuclear facilities by the global atomic watchdog, the Iranian foreign minister said Tuesday.
A law passed by Iran’s hard-liner-dominated parliament in December called for stopping the country’s voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol, which grants the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) short-notice access to Iran’s nuclear facilities and suspected sites. Lawmakers set a February deadline to limit cooperation with the IAEA if sanctions weren’t lifted.
“Obliged by law, we halted voluntary implementation of Add’l Protocol,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif tweeted on Tuesday. “All remedial measures reversible.”
Zarif said Tuesday that the agreement demonstrated Iran’s “good faith.” Grossi framed it as a temporary solution that would “salvage the situation.”
As part of the arrangement, the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization is also now withholding from the IAEA recordings made by cameras inside its nuclear facilities, but will release the footage if the sanctions are fully lifted. If three months pass and the sanctions remain in place, Iran says it will erase the data.
The developments come as President Joe Biden seeks to rejoin the Iranian nuclear agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, before crafting a “longer and stronger” follow-on deal.
On Monday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei threatened that his country could begin enriching uranium up to 60% purity if it’s deemed necessary “to meet the country’s needs.”