Tehran says it will end ‘voluntary’ cooperation with IAEA outside non-proliferation treaty
Tehran announced that it was ceasing “voluntary” cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Wednesday. The move would lead to the dismantling of UN nuclear watchdog cameras on Iranian nuclear facilities if they are not covered by NPT safeguards, Iranian authorities have explained.
The announcement came as Iran shut down an online enrichment monitor (OLEM) and flow meter set up by the IAEA at one of its nuclear sites. Tehran accused the UN watchdog of not “appreciating” the “extended cooperation” he had with the Iranian authorities.
The IAEA did not understand that this cooperation was the result of Tehran’s will “Good will,” the National Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) said in a statement, adding that the IAEA had instead “considered it a duty of Iran”.
The AEOI then said it had decided to disconnect two of the IAEA’s surveillance cameras, adding that most of the cameras are still covered by NPT safeguards and that they “operate as before”. According to Iranian media, some 80% of surveillance cameras fall under this agreement.
AEOI spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi, who oversaw the dismantling process, later told Iran’s national television channel that Tehran “cease…the cooperation that was outside the [NPT] guarantee agreement.
Tehran is now thinking “additional measures” in the same area, Kamalvandi told reporters. “We are planning further steps. We are waiting for them [IAEA] to come to his senses and return Iran’s cooperation. It is not acceptable that Iran continues its cooperation, while the other side does not show appropriate behavior,” he added. he said.
The decision follows a draft resolution submitted Tuesday by the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany to the IAEA board. The document accuses Iran of failing to fully respond to questions from the UN nuclear watchdog regarding certain traces of uranium at what have been called undeclared sites. The document is still expected to be debated and voted on later this week at a quarterly meeting of the IAEA’s 35-nation governing board.
“Backup issues” on the three allegedly undeclared nuclear sites of the Islamic Republic “remain pending due to insufficient substantial cooperation from Iran, despite numerous interactions with the agency,” says the document, seen by Reuters.
Tehran argued that it voluntarily extended its cooperation with the IAEA beyond the NPT safeguards agreement and expected that the data collected would not be shared without Tehran’s consent. “Iran has no hidden or undocumented nuclear activities or…undisclosed sites,” AEOI chief Mohammad Eslami said on Wednesday, brandishing all evidence of their alleged existence “false papers” aimed at maintaining “maximum pressure” on Tehran.
Iran struck a deal on its nuclear program with world powers in 2015. Tehran agreed to additional IAEA checks on its nuclear sites and certain enrichment thresholds in return for sanctions relief.
In 2018, then-US President Donald Trump’s administration unilaterally abandoned the deal and reimposed sanctions on Iran, targeting its oil, petrochemical, shipping and other sectors. After Joe Biden became president of the United States, talks between Iran and world powers on the issue resumed but stalled again in March after a year of negotiations.
Iran demanded guarantees from Washington that no future US president would withdraw from a new deal and asked the United States to remove Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from its list of terrorist organizations . The United States did not respond to these requests.
You can share this story on social media: