News ID: 266672
Published: 1138 GMT March 09, 2020

IAEA: Iran providing access to active nuclear sites

IAEA: Iran providing access to active nuclear sites
AP

Iran continues to provide international inspectors access to its active nuclear facilities, the head of the UN's atomic watchdog said Monday.

Rafael Grossi, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), also told board members in Vienna it appears that Iran hasn't taken new steps away from the landmark pact, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, since its Jan. 5 announcement said that the country was no longer bound by “any restrictions” of the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. 

“The agency has not observed any changes to Iran’s implementation of its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA in connection with this announcement, or in the level of cooperation by Iran in relation to agency verification and monitoring activities under the JCPOA,” Grossi said in prepared remarks.

In recent months, Iran has crossed all main provisions of the pact, increasing its stockpiles of enriched uranium and heavy water past its limits, adding prohibited centrifuges, and enriching uranium past the purity allowed.

Iran took the measures a year after the US pulled out the deal in May 2018 and reinstated tough sanctions.  

Last week, the agency said in a report to member nations that its inspectors had confirmed that Iran had nearly tripled its stockpile of enriched uranium since November, reaching 1,020.9 kilograms.

The JCPOA, signed by Iran with the US, Germany, France, Britain, China, and Russia, allows a stockpile of only 202.8 kilograms of low-enriched uranium.

The JCPOA promised Iran economic incentives in return for the curbs on its nuclear program, but since President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the deal unilaterally and imposed new sanctions, the country's economy has been struggling.

Iran’s violations of the pact are intended to pressure the other nations involved to increase economic incentives to make up for the American sanctions. So far, attempts by the other members of the JCPOA have fallen short of Iran's demands.

Other parties to the deal have been meeting with Iran to try to save the accord.

In a separate report to members last week, the IAEA said it had identified three undeclared locations in Iran.  

Iran responded to the report by suggesting that the IAEA had no legal basis to inspect those sites.

In his speech to the board members, Grossi called on "Iran to cooperate immediately and fully with the agency, including by providing prompt access to the locations specified by the agency."

Diplomats say these are related to Iran’s alleged nuclear projects in the 2000s, and not its current activities.

Last week, Iran’s IAEA ambassador said the Islamic Republic has no obligation to grant the nuclear watchdog access to sites when it deems that requests are based on "fabricated information",  accusing the US and Israel of trying to “exert pressure on the agency.”

Kazem Gharibabadi said making such request “runs counter to the verification process.”

AP and AFP contributed to this story.

 

 

   
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