Iran has not yet made any decision about the extension of a temporary technical agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency or about whether to delete the recordings of its nuclear sites, the Foreign Ministry spokesman said Monday.
Speaking at a weekly presser, Saeed Khatibzadeh said Iran has not still made any decision about the extension of the three-month technical agreement with the IAEA signed in February or about how to continue cooperation with the UN nuclear agency.
Asked by reporters if a date has been set for the deletion of the information that Iran has recorded at its nuclear sites under the technical agreement with the IAEA, the spokesman said no decision has been made so far about the cameras, Tasnim News Agency reported.
The issue is part of broader talks underway in Vienna aiming to salvage the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that has been hanging by a thread since former president Donald Trump withdrew the US from it three years ago.
After Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal between Iran and major powers, known as the JCPOA, and reimposed and ramped up sanctions, the Islamic Republic has taken steps away from its nuclear commitments.
Late last year, Iran’s Parliament passed a law that led the country to restrict access to some of its nuclear facilities for IAEA inspectors from February.
President Hassan Rouhani’s government followed through on the legislature's demand.
Tehran also denied the IAEA access to video recordings from monitoring equipment that the UN agency had installed at its sites to verify its compliance.
The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said the cameras would keep running, but that the withheld footage would be deleted if US sanctions were not lifted within three months.
This period was later extended by a month but expired on June 24.
Since then the IAEA has insisted on the "vital importance" that Iran extend the period again and urged Tehran to tell it whether it intends to do so.
"I insist that no negative or positive decision regarding the cameras and the previous agreement with the agency has been taken," Khatibzadeh said on Monday, AFP wrote.
The decision is the responsibility of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, which is not known to have held a meeting on the subject since June 24.
Iran said last week that the top security body would decide whether to renew the temporary agreements.
On Sunday, Iran's Parliament speaker said Tehran will never hand over images from inside Iranian nuclear sites to the IAEA, as the agreement with the agency had expired.
"The agreement has expired ... any of the information recorded will never be given to the agency and the data and images will remain in the possession of Iran," said Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf.
Kazem Gharibabadi, Iran’s permanent representative to Vienna-based international organizations, reminded that Tehran had been retaining the data from the cameras “solely based on goodwill, and not as part of its obligations toward the agency”.
Side of bargain kept by Iran
During his weekly presser, Khatibzadeh pointed to the failure of the other parties to the JCPOA, in particular the US, to make the necessary decisions on saving the deal during the ongoing Vienna talks, whose seventh round is expected to begin soon.
He said if the JCPOA is still alive, it is because of Iran, Press TV reported.
“Today, if there is a JCPOA to hold talks on its implementation, it is because of the decision that Iran made after the US withdrawal and the inaction of the other parties,” he said. “Iran and the Iranian people have fulfilled their share of maintaining the JCPOA.”
He also said the US should know that it is present in the talks merely as a perpetrator. “The US has made every effort to destroy the JCPOA. We have witnessed the hypocritical and bullying behavior of the United States,” the spokesman added.
According to Khatibzadeh, Iran has already made its decision on the JCPOA and informed the other parties of it, and is waiting for the other sides, including the US, to make their decisions with regard to the 2015 accord.
Iran’s top negotiator to the Vienna talks, Seyyed Abbas Araqchi, made similar remarks on Sunday.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran has already made its tough decision. When the United States quit the JCPOA and Iran decided to stay in it, this was Iran’s big and tough decision, which has to date kept the deal alive.”