Iran threatened on Monday to block snap inspections by the UN nuclear watchdog from next week if other parties to the 2015 nuclear deal do not uphold their obligations.
“If others do not fulfil their obligations by Feb. 21, the government is obliged to suspend the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol,” the country’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said.
The announcement marks another challenge to the US administration led by President Joe Biden, who hopes to restore the nuclear deal, after Donald Trump pulled out of the agreement in 2018.
“It does not mean ending all inspections by the UN nuclear watchdog…All these steps are reversible if the other party changes its path and honours its obligations,” the spokesperson said, pointing to Washington.
In a Twitter post on Monday, the Iranian Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Tehran had informed the Vienna-based body of its plans.
Act of Parliament will be executed on time (23 Feb) and the IAEA has been informed today to ensure the smooth transition to a new course in due time. After all, goodwill brings about goodwill!
— Gharibabadi (@Gharibabadi) February 15, 2021
Under the deal, namely the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran agreed to curbs on its uranium enrichment program in return for the lifting of US sanctions. However, following Trump’s withdrawal from the deal, Tehran began breaching some of the terms.
In January, the country resumed enriching uranium to 20% purity at the Fordow facility, exceeding by far the limit of 3.67% allowed under the nuclear deal.