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Iran Says IAEA Won't See Images From Reinstalled Cameras At Nuclear Site Until Sanctions Are Lifted

By RFE/RL December 16, 2021

One day after Iran agreed to reinstall surveillance cameras at one of its nuclear facilities, a spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said that the UN's atomic watchdog will not be able to examine images from the cameras until sanctions are lifted.

The cameras will store the images, and when their memory cards are full, they will be placed under the joint control of Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for the organization, said on December 16.

"In other words, the agency will not have any access to the information before sanctions are lifted," state news agency IRNA quoted Kamalvandi as saying.

Iran and the IAEA announced the agreement to replace the cameras at a production site for centrifuge parts near Karaj on December 15.

The IAEA, which called the agreement "an important development," has sought to monitor activities at the site, which Tehran said was damaged in June by an alleged attack it blames on Israel. Iran said one of four IAEA cameras at the site was destroyed in the attack, and it later removed all the cameras.

Tehran has refused to allow IAEA access, citing an ongoing investigation into the incident.

The agreement on the cameras came after Western powers warned that time is running out to revive a 2015 deal, which curtailed Iran's nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of global sanctions.

There's been no apparent progress in talks in Vienna due to what Western officials say is Tehran reneging on compromises reached in previous rounds.

Then-U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal in 2018 and reimposed sanctions, prompting Tehran to gradually exceed limits imposed under the pact.

President Joe Biden says the United States would rejoin the JCPOA if Iran resumes observing it. Iran is demanding the lifting of all U.S. sanctions first.

The United States on December 16 also blacklisted several companies for what Washington said were attempts to supply "U.S.-origin items" that could support Iran's conventional weapons and missile programs in violation of U.S. sanctions.

The United States said several Chinese companies were among those added to the so-called Entity List along with three companies in Georgia -- Gensis Engineering, ROV Solutions, and SAEROS Safety ERO; two companies in Turkey; and one in Malaysia.

The Entity List is published by the Commerce Department and identifies entities for which there is reasonable cause to believe have been involved in activities "contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States."

With reporting by AFP

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/iran-cameras-nuclear -iaea-sanctions/31612798.html

Copyright (c) 2021. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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