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IAEA inspections will be blocked if nuclear deal terms are not met, says Iran

Iran indicated that it will block IAEA inspections scheduled for next week if other parties of the JCPOA fail to uphold their obligations.

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Saeed Khatibzadeh, Spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, announced that Iran will be obliged to suspend the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol should the other members of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) fail to comply with their obligations under the nuclear deal. Khatibzadeh added that these suspensions do not engulf all inspections of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), but all these steps are reversible if the other party, in reference to the US, honors its obligations.

On Monday, Iran’s IAEA envoy stated on Twitter that the agency was informed of Iran’s intention to terminate the sweeping inspection powers given to the agency under the nuclear deal.

The US under the new Biden administration intends to return to the JCPOA, which it withdrew from under the Trump administration in 2018. Under the mandate of the nuclear deal, Iran agreed to concessions on its program for uranium enrichment on the condition of the lifting sanctions imposed. Following the US’ withdrawal from the JCPOA, Tehran drifted from its obligations on uranium enrichment.

Currently, Iran and the US clash with one another on how to best restore the deal, with both countries disagreeing on which side should take the first step in doing so. While the US believes Iran should take the first step because it is violating its commitments to the deal, Iran insists that the first step should come from Washington since it is the member which withdrew from the deal in the first place.

In spite of Iran’s insisting stance towards Washington in taking the first step, some Iranian officials have indicated that the mounting economic pressure of US sanctions could force Iran to take flexible measures to restore order in the nuclear deal.

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