Iran Will End Certain UN Nuclear Inspections If 'Other Parties' Fail to Meet Terms of JCPOA - Report
Kirill Kurevlev. Sputnik International
22:21 GMT 15.02.2021(updated 22:29 GMT 15.02.2021)
Earlier, Biden had announced his intention to return the US to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the nuclear deal, that was abandoned in 2018 by Donald Trump. According to the deal's terms, in exchange for the lifting of sanctions, Iran agreed to curb its uranium enrichment program.
The Iranian government will block the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) snap inspections next week if other parties to the 2015 nuclear deal do not fulfill their commitments under the agreement before February 21, IRNA reported Monday.
According to the report, Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the Iranian parliament has bound the government to halt the implementation of the IAEA additional protocol if "the other parties fail to meet their obligations by the date."
"All these measures will be reversible provided the other parties adhere to their obligations," the spokesman added.
Khatibzadeh said that Iran will continue its membership in the Non-Proliferation Treaty, stressing that the measures concern only additional inspections and will not affect others, and Iran will continue its cooperation with the IAEA.
The official stated that despite Iran's compliance with the IAEA, information breaches took place before, and that "the IAEA has absolute legal responsibility towards confidentiality of documents. There are inherently confidential documents, but Iran's activities are transparent. It's a matter of sorrow that there has been serious negligence. The letter [sent by Iran] was aimed at reminding the IAEA of its responsibilities."
‚ÄčThe foreign ministry spokesman also said the US administration is still following the footsteps of the previous administration, as Iran hopes for a forward move from the US to improve relations and revive the deal.
"Unfortunately the US is still acting based on the wrong procedure left for the previous administration. What is seen today is not different from those prior to January 20; the same maximum pressure and crime against the Iranian nation with the same approach," he said.
The spokesman also expressed his hope that the European signatories to the treaty will strictly comply with their obligations under it.
"The three European countries have a simple path ahead to end tensions; they can return to compliance with their commitments in the JCPOA. This is easier than their current path. JCPOA is in critical condition and these tensions don't help," Khatibzadeh said.
Previosuly, Mojtaba Zonnour, the head of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee at the Iranian parliament, has said that if the European countries did not resolve the issue of US sanctions against Iran's banking and finance industry and did not facilitate the normalization of Iranian oil exports by February 21, Tehran would limit its cooperation with the IAEA.
Iran's ambassador and permanent representative to the IAEA, Kazem Gharibabadi, posted on Twitter earlier in the day that the country had told the UN watchdog of its intention next week to put an end to the agency's inspections under the nuclear deal.
When asked about the official position of the Iranian government on the nuclear issue, Khatibzadeh said that a fatwa by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei prohibiting the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction. "Iranian position remains: all our nuclear activities are peaceful and will remain as such," he said.
The official stated that Iran is seeking the manufacture of metal uranium in order to acquire advanced nuclear fuel, in line with the country's R&D plan to supply fuel to the Tehran Research Reactor, which is "considered one of the common trends of nuclear programs for peaceful purposes."
Last week, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif wrote on Twitter that it is the US administration who must be the first to return to the deal before Iran, referring to the claims about Iran's non-compliance with the treaty. Zarif told CNN earlier that at the end of February Tehran was going to reduce the presence of UN inspectors in the country, but "that doesn't mean that the window is fully shut."
Iran signed the JCPOA with China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK, the US, and the EU back in 2015. The plan required Iran to scale back its nuclear program and severely downgrade its uranium reserves in exchange for sanctions relief, including lifting the arms embargo five years after the deal's adoption. The US abandoned its conciliatory approach on Iran in 2018, withdrawing from the JCPOA and imposing multiple sanctions against Tehran under the so-called policy of maximum pressure.
As the February 21 deadline set by Iran approaches and the administration of President Joe Biden maintains its stance on sanctions, the halting of additional inspections seems imminent.
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