Iran nuclear deal

France, Germany, UK call on Iran to reverse decision to restrict nuclear inspectors

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) meets with International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Grossi (R) in Tehran, 21 February 2021.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) meets with International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Grossi (R) in Tehran, 21 February 2021. © Wana news agency/via Reuters

France has joined Germany and the UK in their condemnation of Iran’s decision to restrict international inspections of its nuclear facilities, the latest violation of the 2015 nuclear deal that the US pulled out of in 2018. Iran has been violating the terms of the deal to pressure the US into reviving it and other countries into offering economic incentives to offset sanctions.

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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said a law had come into effect on Tuesday that would keep Iran from sharing surveillance footage of its nuclear facilities with the IAEA.

The foreign ministers of France, Germany and the UK in a joint statement called the decision a “further violation of its commitments” under the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint comprehensive plan of action, or JCPoA, that former US president Donald Trump unilaterally left in 2018.

Since the withdrawal of the US from the deal, Iran has been violating restrictions in order to pressure the other countries to come up with economic incentives to offset American sanctions.

Iran’s civilian nuclear agency, the Atomic energy organisation of Iran, said on Tuesday that it would preserve video recordings of the facilities for three months, and hand them over to the IAEA once countries agree to lift sanctions.

The European countries took note of the decision to keep the recordings, and urged Iran to “reverse all measures that reduce transparency” and to fully cooperate with the IAEA.

"Our objective remains to preserve the Jcpoa and to support ongoing diplomatic efforts for a negotiated solution allowing for the return of Iran and the US to full compliance with their JCPoA commitments," they said.

Zarif said in a tweet on Tuesday that Iran's new limits on inspections and other violations ca be reversed, if newly-elected US president Joe Biden moves to revive the deal.

The Biden administration has said it’s ready to join talks to discuss a return to the deal. Zarif said Iran is “assessing the idea of an unofficial meeting" with the parties to the accord “in which America is invited as a non-member.”

(with wires)

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