IAEA demands response from Iran on surveillance deal, Iran says not obligated to respond
- Lack of deal could derail nuclear deal negotiations
- United States expresses serious concern over lack of extension
- World powers, Iran hoped to resume nuclear talks in early July
PARIS, June 25 (Reuters) – The UN nuclear watchdog on Friday demanded an immediate response from Iran on whether it would extend a surveillance deal that expired overnight, prompting an Iranian envoy to answer that Tehran had no obligation to answer.
The deal continued to collect data by the International Atomic Energy Agency on some of Tehran’s activities, cushioning the blow from Iran’s February decision to cut cooperation with the agency. Read more
“An immediate response from Iran is needed in this regard,” the IAEA said in a statement summarizing a report by its chief Rafael Grossi to his board of governors of 35 countries which was also seen by Reuters.
Grossi wrote to Iran last week “to understand Iran’s position regarding the possible further collection, recording and retention of data,” according to the report. Iran did not say on Friday whether it intended to keep the deal, he said.
Iranian Ambassador to the IAEA Kazem Gharibabadi “said Iran was under no obligation to comply” at the IAEA chief’s request, the semi-official news agency reported. Iranian official Tasnim.
Before Grossi briefed the board, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said any failure by Tehran to extend the surveillance deal would be of “serious concern” to broader negotiations. Read more
Iran and the United States have had indirect talks on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and the great powers that imposed restrictions on Tehran’s nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.
The Vienna talks, which began in April, are now on a hiatus that was to last until early July, but failure to extend the monitoring deal could plunge those negotiations into disarray.
“As far as the IAEA is concerned, this remains a serious concern,” Blinken said at a press conference in Paris alongside his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian. “The concern has been communicated to Iran and must be resolved.”
The United States abandoned the deal under President Donald Trump in 2018 and reimposed tough U.S. sanctions, prompting Iran to respond by violating many of its restrictions. President Joe Biden’s administration wants to revive the deal, but Tehran and Washington have yet to agree on which party to take what action and when.
SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCES WITH IRAN
One of the steps Iran took to reduce compliance was its February decision to end additional IAEA oversight of certain nuclear activities in the deal. The temporary agreement continued that surveillance and a one-month extension ended overnight.
Officials on all sides have said there are major issues that need to be addressed before the nuclear deal can be revived.
“We still have significant differences with Iran,” Blinken said, adding that he hoped a resumption of talks in the next few days could resolve them.
“We are only going to reach a deal with Iran if it honors its obligations under the JCPoA and we are just not there yet,” he said, referring to the nuclear deal. by an abbreviation.
Le Drian echoed this.
“We are waiting for the Iranian authorities to make the tough final decisions to allow the relaunch of the 2015 nuclear deal,” he said.
Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and John Irish; edited by Richard Lough
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