We could restrict UN nuclear inspections, Iran warns West | News | DW | 15.02.2021
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We could restrict UN nuclear inspections, Iran warns West

An Iranian foreign official says Tehran could prevent the IAEA, the UN's atomic agency, from visiting sites that are not declared as nuclear sites. He called on the US to rapidly return to a 2015 deal.

In this Feb. 3, 2007 file photo, an Iranian technician works at the Uranium Conversion Facility just outside the city of Isfahan, Iran, 255 miles (410 kilometers) south of the capital Tehran.

Iran claims its nuclear program is for peaceful power-generating and medical purposes

Iran said on Monday that it would block snap inspections by the UN nuclear watchdog from next week if other parties "do not fulfill their obligations" to the 2015 nuclear deal, threatening US President Joe Biden’s hopes of reviving the accord.

The country has launched a program to enrich uranium at higher levels and started the production of uranium metal, and is working with faster centrifuges.

It is also storing far more uranium than allowed under the nuclear deal.

"If others do not fulfill their obligations by February 21, the government is obliged to suspend the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol," Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said.

"It does not mean ending all inspections by the UN nuclear watchdog. All these steps are reversible if the other party changes its path and honors its obligations," he said, alluding to the United States.

Writing on Twitter, the Iranian ambassador to the IAEA said Iran had informed the Vienna-based body of its plans.

Biden says he wants to return the US to the nuclear deal. His predecessor, Donald Trump, abandoned it in 2018. 

Iranians protest against the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

Iranians reacted with fury when Donald Trump pulled the US out of the accord

The White House has named a special envoy on Iran, Rob Malley, one of the architects of the original accord.

Officially, Malley's first task has been coordination with the Europeans, and he will only afterward revive US dialogue with Iran that was ended under Trump.

But State Department spokesman Ned Price reiterated on Friday that the United States is "not looking at any particular deadline" when asked about February 21.

Under the deal, Iran agreed to curbs on its uranium enrichment program in return for the lifting of sanctions.

After Trump quit and reimposed sanctions, Iran began breaking some of the terms of the deal

Biden and his European allies have been keen to bring Tehran back onside, but Israel has been a repeated critic of the agreement.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government believes that the deal is being used as a delaying tactic to allow Iran to build a bomb.

Watch video 08:00

Israel has 'no confidence' Iran nuclear deal is working, Israeli ambassador tells DW

jf/msh (dpa, Reuters)