Kazem Gharibabadi, Iran’s envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has announced on 23 February that as of last night, Iran has officially ended the implementation of the Additional Protocol of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which envisioned the undertaking of snap inspections on Iranian nuclear sites. In the past week, Iran passed a law through parliament stating that unless sanctions imposed on Iran are lifted, Tehran will block the IAEA’s snap inspections on Tuesday.
In order to create room for reconciliation between the US and Iran, the IAEA had reached an agreement with Iranian officials on Sunday to soften the blow of Tehran’s diminishing cooperation and rejection against permitting the snap inspections. News on the positive talks came from the Director General of the IAEA Rafael Grossi himself, who expressed the positive talks on his return from Tehran in Vienna. He stated that although Iran was going to go through with the blockade against the snap inspections, they agreed with Iranian officials to continue monitoring declared nuclear sites in the country for the next three months.
Iran had announced that it will block the snap inspections of the IAEA unless the US removed the sanctions which were implemented upon the US’ withdrawal from the JCPOA in 2018, under the Trump administration. Both sides have expressed their demand for a first step in healing the wounds of the nuclear deal from the other, which they both insist should be made by the opposing side. While Iran underlines the US as the other that should act since it is the one which left the deal in the first place, the US highlights that Tehran needs to firstly comply fully with the obligations of the nuclear deal.
Last week, Tehran indicated that it was analyzing a proposal by the EU for an informal meeting between the current members of the JCPOA and the US, which it has not yet responded to according to several sources.