Iran ends inspectors’ access to nuclear site images
Iran’s Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf said on Sunday that inspectors may no longer access surveillance images of Iran’s nuclear sites.
“From May 22 and with the end of the three-month agreement, the agency will have no access to data collected by cameras inside the nuclear facilities agreed under the agreement,” Qalibaf was quoted as saying by Iranian state television, Reuters reports.
Qalibaf’s announcement comes as talks continue in Vienna to reenter the Iranian nuclear deal. It is unclear what effect the parliament speaker’s remarks will have on in-person inspections.
However, Reuters reports that Iranian state television cited unnamed officials who said the agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) may be extended “conditionally” for another month,
“If extended for a month and if during this period major powers … accept Iran’s legal demands, then the data will be handed over to the agency. Otherwise the images will be deleted forever,” an unnamed official from Iran’s Supreme National Security Council said.
Last week, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani said an agreement had been reached to lift sanctions on Iran through indirect talks with the U.S. At the time, it had been indicated by negotiators that progress had been made in paving a way for Iran to reenter the Obama-era nuclear deal.
State Department officials did not confirm Rouhani’s statement to The Hill at the time.
“As we have said, any substantial move by the U.S. would have to be part of a process in which both sides take actions, and there are many challenges remaining,” a State Department spokesperson said. “The precise nature of the sanctions-related steps that the United States would need to take to achieve this objective is a subject of the talks.”