Iran may conditionally extend monitoring deal with IAEA by one month: SNSC source
Iran Press TV
Sunday, 23 May 2021 2:09 PM
Iran is likely to extend by one month an agreement it had signed with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on inspection of its nuclear sites for a period of three months, an informed source with Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) says.
"Given the end of Iran's three-month deadline [which was given to] the International Atomic Energy Agency, there is a possibility of the conditional extension of the previous agreement by one more month," IRNA quoted the source as saying on Sunday.
Under former president Donald Trump, the US withdrew from the landmark nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was signed by Iran and major world powers in 2015. Trump also initiated a "maximum pressure" policy against Iran, prompting Tehran to take remedial measures by gradually reducing its nuclear commitments under the deal.
In February, Iran halted its voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol that allowed the IAEA to carry short-notice inspections at its nuclear sites.
Later in February, Iran and the IAEA reached a technical understanding under which Iran continued to keep the camera footage at its nuclear sites for up to three months in a goodwill gesture in support of diplomacy, waiting to see whether the other parties to the JCPOA can manage to bring the US back into full compliance with the deal.
That deadline came to an end on May 21, while negotiations are underway in the Austrian capital of Vienna between Tehran and the P4+1 group of countries to revive the JCPOA and bring Washington into compliance with the deal.
The SNSC source added that if the decision on the conditional extension is finalized, "it is expected that the opposite side will accept Iran's legal demands and facilitate the process to reach an agreement [during the Vienna talks]."
Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, who is the head of the Iranian delegation to the Vienna talks, told NHK on May 8 that the Islamic Republic may consider extending the deal with the UN nuclear agency.
IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi is going to hold a news conference on Sunday afternoon.
Russia welcomes Iran's possible extension of IAEA deadline
Mikhail Ulyanov, the Russian ambassador to international organizations in Vienna, on Sunday welcomed a possible extension of the deadline Iran granted to the IAEA.
"If true, it would be a positive and necessary step. Eager to see official announcement," Ulyanov said in a post on his Twitter account.
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