IAEA will not be given any information as technical deal expired, Iran’s Qalibaf says

The statement came upon a question directed by a lawmaker whether any decision has been made to extend the expired monitoring deal with the UN nuclear watchdog.

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The Iranian Parliament spokesperson Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf stated that the three-month monitoring deal, which Tehran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had signed in February, had not been extended. Due to its expiration, any information regarding the Iranian nuclear sites would not be provided to the agency, and kept by the Iranian authorities, he added.

The statement came upon a question directed by a lawmaker whether Iran’s Supreme National Security Council has made any decision regarding the extension of the deal, which had been extended for a month on May 24. Speaking at an open session of the Parliament on Sunday, Spokesperson Qalibaf guaranteed that the parliamentary laws are being fully implemented.

Upon the expiration of the deal on June 24, the head of the IAEA, Rafael Grossi, demanded from Iran an immediate response to extension calls. On the other hand, Iran’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Kazem Gharib Abadi, replied that Iran has no obligation to respond to the agency’s demands.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also expressed his concerns regarding the failure to the extension of the monitoring deal. Speaking at a joint press conference held on Friday with his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian, the US top diplomat said that it remains a serious concern that needed to be resolved by communicating with Iran.

The monitoring deal provides the IAEA access to images from inside the Iranian nuclear sites. The agreement was signed to ease tension with Iran which stopped fulfilling its commitments under the JCPOA when the Trump administration unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018.

Any failure in extending the deal could further complicate the ongoing talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 countries, in Vienna. The sixth round of talks was completed last week, and negotiators returned to their capitals for further consultation. The next round has not been scheduled yet. Even though some progress has been achieved in negotiations, several major issues still wait to be resolved before the nuclear deal is reinstated.

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