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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Denies IAEA Access to Karaj Nuclear Facility Due to Ongoing Sabotage Probe

Sputnik News


MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The leadership of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been informed that the agreement on access to surveillance cameras is not applicable to the centrifuge assembly facility in Karaj, as now it is being examined in the June sabotage case, an Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) spokesman said on Monday.

"Mr Grossi is aware of the fact that the agreement reached in a form of a joint statement does not include the clauses on provision of surveillance cameras from the Karaj complex, as this facility is still under investigation of the security forces over the June sabotage," Atomic Energy Organization of Iran spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said, as quoted by the national Tasnim news agency.

IAEA inspectors were given access to all the requested locations in Iran last week except the Karaj facility, according to a statement obtained by Sputnik on Sunday. IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi pointed out that this was contrary to the September 12 agreement, which gave permission to the IAEA to service all surveillance equipment.

The joint statement between Iran and the IAEA was issued earlier this month, when Grossi visited Tehran to hold negotiations with AEOI chief Mohammad Eslami. The document reflects the readiness of both sides to cooperate and permission for the IAEA to replace memory cards in the surveillance system at Iranian nuclear sites.

In 2015, Iran joined the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with the P5+1 group of countries (the United States, China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, plus Germany) and the European Union. It obligated Tehran to scale back its nuclear program and significantly decrease its uranium reserves in exchange for sanctions relief, including lifting the arms embargo five years after the deal's adoption. In 2018, the US withdrew from the JCPOA and took up hardline policies against Iran, prompting the country largely to abandon its own commitments.

Last Tuesday, US President Joe Biden announced his administration's readiness to abide by the JCPOA again, given Tehran does the same.

© Sputnik

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