Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Washington is seeking to strengthen and extend the nuclear deal … and lawmakers in Tehran criticize the government’s cooperation with the IAEA


Despite the new agreement between Tehran and the IAEA, Tehran has said that it will withhold from the agency the images captured by the surveillance cameras in some of its facilities for the time being.

Washington confirmed that it would seek to strengthen the nuclear agreement with Iran, in parallel with a European meeting in Brussels to discuss mediation efforts to resolve the US-Iranian dispute, while a temporary agreement signed by Tehran with the International Atomic Energy Agency sparked internal opposition in Iran.

Today, Monday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that the United States will seek to strengthen and extend the agreement concluded between world powers and Iran, which aims to limit its nuclear program.

Blinken said in a speech to the UN-sponsored Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, “We will also endeavor, by working with allies and partners, to prolong and strengthen the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the nuclear agreement) and address other concerns such as Iran’s destabilizing behavior in the region, the development and proliferation of ballistic missiles. “.

He stressed that the United States continues to achieve its goal of not obtaining a nuclear weapon by Iran, and believes that diplomacy is the solution, noting that President Biden said that if Tehran adheres to the agreement again in 2015, Washington will do the same.

“Iran should comply with safeguards agreements with the agency and its international obligations,” he added, referring to the International Atomic Energy Agency, whose director held talks in Iran at the weekend.

Blinken’s comments came as attention was focused on the results of a meeting in Brussels of European Union foreign ministers to discuss mediation efforts to resolve the US-Iranian dispute over the nuclear deal.

The Commissioner for Security and Foreign Policies of the European Union, Josep Borrell, said that the meeting of the European Union’s foreign ministers today discusses the possibility of Washington returning to the nuclear agreement, and that intensive diplomatic contacts are taking place about this and include several parties, including Iran and the United States.

Iranian lawmakers are criticizing

On the other hand, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said today that it is necessary to implement the Parliament’s law to lift sanctions and carefully guarantee national interests.

Iranian lawmakers protested today, Monday, against Iran’s decision to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to carry out “necessary” monitoring operations for a period of up to 3 months, saying the decision violates a law that ends this week’s surprise inspection by the agency.

“The government has no right to decide and act arbitrarily,” said Mojtaba Dhul-Nur, head of the National Security Committee of the Iranian parliament, according to official media. “This arrangement is an insult to Parliament,” he added.

Iran is gradually violating the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal with the major powers, since the United States withdrew from it under former President Donald Trump in 2018 and re-imposed sanctions on Tehran.

The agreement aims to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons which Tehran says it has never attempted to produce.

Under the agreement, Iran agreed to implement an additional protocol that allows the International Atomic Energy Agency to conduct surprise inspections at undisclosed locations.

But in order to pressure the new US president, Joe Biden, the conservative-dominated parliament in Iran enacted a law last year that would oblige the government to end the implementation of the additional protocol, starting tomorrow, Tuesday, unless US sanctions are lifted.

To give diplomacy an opportunity, the UN agency reached an agreement with Iran on Sunday to limit the impact of reducing its cooperation with the agency and its refusal to allow surprise inspections.

Iranian authorities said that although the new agreement will keep the number of international inspectors the same, Tehran will withhold images captured by surveillance cameras in some of its facilities from the agency for the time being.

Iran has not identified any cameras at any facilities, but the Additional Protocol generally broadens the agency’s surveillance to include activities such as uranium mining.

For its part, the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization confirmed that the agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency does not contradict the Parliament’s law, and that it was made within the framework of this law.

Russia welcomes

In return for internal opposition in Iran, Russia welcomed the new interim agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

On Monday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Moscow welcomes Tehran to reach a temporary agreement on inspections at its facilities after the visit of the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency of the United Nations to Iran.

The spokeswoman said in a statement that “the International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran have made a positive, tangible contribution in providing conditions for starting substantive talks between the current participants in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and the United States regarding Washington’s return to the nuclear agreement,” adding that Moscow “welcomes these steps.”

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