Blocking IAEA snap inspection not against JCPOA deal, says Iranian FM

Iranian Foreign Minister says Tehran’s block of snap inspections by the IAEA does not mean it is abandoning the 2015 nuclear deal, though the US needs to lift sanctions to revive the deal.

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In a televised interview on Iran’s English Language Press TV, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has said that their actions regarding the ban of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) snap inspections in Iranian nuclear sites can be reversed if the US takes the first step in returning to the deal and lift all sanctions. Zarif added that the US is addicted to the implementation of sanctions but this will not pressure Iran into making decisions.

Based on a law passed last year by the parliament, the Iranian government limits IAEA snap inspections to declared nuclear sites on 23 February. This decision has revoked the short-notice access to any location deemed relevant, should other parties of the deal do not comply with their obligations under the deal.

On Thursday, the Biden administration expressed that it was ready to talk with Tehran in order to organize a joint return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which aimed to prevent Iran’s nuclear program from expanding on the condition that most sanctions imposed on the country would be lifted. The US had previously withdrawn from the JCPOA during the Trump administration and reimposed sanctions, based on the idea that Iran was not faithful to its commitments, in 2018.

Meanwhile, on 21 February, the Head of the IAEA Rafael Grossi met with the Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi in Tehran, to discuss the agency’s concerns over the prevention of IAEA inspectors from conducting snap inspections in the country’s nuclear sites, under the Additional Protocol.

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