Iran failing to comply with nuclear monitoring deal, watchdog says
A United Nations nuclear watchdog said Iran is failing to comply with its nuclear monitoring deal, despite agreeing earlier this month to allow inspectors to monitor specific equipment.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a statement that Iran did not allow the group to access its manufacturing workshop at the TESA Karaj complex.
“The [IAEA] Director General [Rafael Grossi] stresses that Iran’s decision not to allow agency access to the TESA Karaj centrifuge component manufacturing workshop is contrary to the agreed terms of the joint statement issued on 12 September,” the IAEA said in a statement to The Hill.
“The Director General reiterates that all of the Agency’s activities referred to in the Joint Statement for all identified Agency equipment and Iranian facilities and locations are indispensable in order to maintain continuity of knowledge,” the IAEA added.
The agency said its inspectors were granted access to identified Agency monitoring and surveillance equipment — and allowed to replace memory cards — between Sept. 20 and 22 in all necessary locations in Iran, except for the centrifuge component manufacturing workshop at the TESA Karaj complex.
That workshop, according to Reuters, was apparently sabotaged in June when one of four IAEA cameras on site were destroyed. Iran has not handed over the camera’s “data storage medium,” and the IAEA wrote in a report this month that it asked Iran to locate it and explain the situation.
As part of the deal, the IAEA was meant to replace the cameras, the news wire noted.
The IAEA’s statement comes exactly two weeks after Grossi and Mohammad Eslami, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), announced in a joint statement that the two sides reached an agreement to allow IAEA inspectors to “service the identified equipment and replace their storage media which will be kept under the joint IAEA and AEOI seals in the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
The joint statement came on the eve of a meeting of the IAEA’s 35-nation Board of Governors, according to Reuters.
The agreement allowed Iran to avoid a potential censure at that meeting, and it met a basic requirement to eventually resume international nuclear talks that could see economic sanctions lifted against Tehran.
Recently-elected Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi last week called for a resumption of nuclear talks in a pre-recorded speech delivered at the United Nations General Assembly.
He had previously signed that Iran was prepared to rejoin the table to discuss nuclear negotiations, but said he would not do so amid Western “pressure.”
On Sunday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said talks on the Iranian nuclear deal should restart as soon as possible during a discussion with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amirabdollahian, Reuters reported.