Iran confirmed on Tuesday the entry into force of restrictions on inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in regard to its nuclear activities, after the expiry of a period set by Tehran for the lifting of US sanctions.
“The implementation of (the) law (of the parliament) started this morning,” said Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamad Javad Zarif.
“Officially, we announced on February 15 to the International Atomic Energy Agency that the law of parliament would enter into force as of the morning of February 23,” added Zarif, who nonetheless stressed that Tehran’s cooperation with the agency of the UN continues.
According to a text enacted by the Iranian parliament in December, the government will limit certain IAEA inspections to non-nuclear facilities, including suspicious military sites, should the sanctions reestablished in 2018 by the previous US administration continue, after former President Donald Trump , will unilaterally withdraw his country from the nuclear agreement.
Since 2019 Iran has progressively freed itself from various limitations it had agreed to on its nuclear program in exchange for a relaxation of sanctions against it.
– Temporary agreement –
Iran and the IAEA announced on Sunday a “temporary” agreement to maintain control of nuclear activities, although reduced, while diplomatic talks between the parties to the international agreement begin, which will provide a framework for the Iranian nuclear program concluded in Vienna. in 2015, in an attempt to break the blockade.
The IAEA director general, Argentine Rafael Grossi, had affirmed that his organization continues “to be able to maintain the necessary level of vigilance and verification” after talks with Iranian officials in Tehran on Sunday.
For his part, Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabii on Tuesday welcomed the conclusion of an “effective and reassuring” agreement with Grossi, adding that it would avoid “damaging relations, mutual trust and positive cooperation between Iran and the IAEA “.
Under this “bilateral technical agreement”, which lasts for three months but can be suspended at any time, the number of inspectors on the spot does not change and unannounced controls are still possible.
“The core of this agreement is that the tapes made about our nuclear program … will be kept and will not be made available to the Agency,” Zarif said.
Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization said Sunday that the tapes will be “withdrawn” if sanctions are not “fully lifted within three months.”
Concluded in Vienna between Iran and the 5 + 1 group (the five members of the UN Security Council – the United States, France, Great Britain, Russia and China – plus Germany), the pact provides for a gradual lifting of sanctions in exchange a guarantee that Iran will not acquire nuclear weapons.
The reformist newspaper Etemad, for its part, called the temporary agreement a “three-month initiative to aid diplomacy,” and the ultra-conservative daily Kayhan welcomed a “final victory” for the Islamic Republic.
Despite its denials, Iran is accused of wanting to acquire nuclear weapons, in particular by Israel.
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