Iran to IAEA: Tehran extending monitoring deal for one month

Iran’s ambassador to the U.N. nuclear watchdog Kazem Gharibabadi leaves after the meeting of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) Joint Commission, in Vienna, Austria, May 7, 2021. (Reuters photo)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iran has informed the U.N. nuclear watchdog that it has decided to extend a monitoring deal with the agency for a month, Iran’s envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Monday.

“The Director General of the IAEA today has been informed about Iran’s decision … The data from the last three months are still in the possession of Iran and will not be handed over to the IAEA. The data of the next month will remain only with Iran according to the agreement,” Kazem Gharibabadi was quoted as saying, according to Reuters.

Iran said on Sunday that a three-month monitoring deal between Tehran and the IAEA had expired and that IAEA access to images from inside some Iranian nuclear sites would cease.

The IAEA and Tehran struck the three-month monitoring agreement in February to cushion the blow of Iran reducing its cooperation with the agency, and it allowed monitoring of some activities that would otherwise have been axed to continue.

European diplomats said last week that failure to agree an extension would plunge the wider, indirect talks between Washington and Tehran on reviving the 2015 deal into crisis. Those talks are due to resume in Vienna this week.

Iran and global powers have held several rounds of negotiations since April in Vienna, working on steps that Tehran and Washington must take, on sanctions and nuclear activities, to return to full compliance with the nuclear pact.

Iran began gradually breaching terms of the 2015 pact with world powers after former President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the deal in 2018 and re-imposed sanctions.

Without commenting on the parliament speaker’s earlier announcement, Iran’s pragmatist president, Hassan Rouhani, said on Sunday that Tehran would continue the talks in Vienna “until reaching a final agreement”.

*This story was updated at 01:56 p.m. EBL time 

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