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Iran Blocks IAEA Nuclear Inspections Under AP Following Sanctions Deadline

Iran Blocks IAEA Nuclear Inspections Under AP Following Sanctions Deadline
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By Staff, Agencies

Iran stopped the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol [AP] to the Non-Proliferation Treaty [NPT] Safeguards Agreement that allowed the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] to carry out short-notice inspections of the country’s nuclear facilities, following a deadline set by Tehran for the removal of US sanctions.

Talking to reporters, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif confirmed that the implementation of the Additional Protocol had been stopped as of Tuesday morning.

Kazem Gharibabadi, Iran’s permanent representative to Vienna-based international organizations, also announced late on Monday that all the IAEA’s additional access to the nuclear sites would be halted by midnight.

“As of 12:00 p.m. local time [2030 GMT], we have nothing called obligations beyond the Safeguards Agreement,” he said. “Necessary orders have been issued to nuclear facilities.”

Zarif pointed out that Iran will continue to implement its commitments under the NPT Safeguards Agreements and cooperate with the IAEA.

He explained that footage recorded by cameras at Iran's nuclear sites will now be withheld and no longer shared with the IAEA on a daily and weekly basis as was done in the past.

He also noted that Iran will have no official meeting with the US, since Washington is no longer a party to the nuclear deal.

The halt came under the Strategic Action Plan to Counter Sanctions, a law passed last December by the Iranian Parliament.

The legislation set February 23 as a deadline for the Iranian government to further scale back compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA], if the US does not lift its sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

The withdrawal from the Protocol adds to Iran’s previous steps away from the JCPOA in response to the US’s unilateral withdrawal in 2018 and the other parties’ failure to fulfill their commitments.

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