Iran Doubles Down on Access for Monitors as Nuclear Talks Teeter
Iran said it won’t allow United Nations nuclear inspectors to access a centrifuge workshop which was sabotaged earlier this year, as diplomats warn that time is running out to save a landmark deal that had capped the Islamic Republic’s atomic activities.
According to state-run Press TV, Mohammad Eslami, the head of the Atomic Energy Agency of Iran, said access to the site in Karaj on the outskirts of Tehran is “unacceptable” because it goes beyond its safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
He said talks with the IAEA would continue but that all issues related to the facility had to be resolved together, Press TV reported.
Europeans Say ‘Time Is Running Out’ on Iran Nuclear Deal
IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi has signaled concern over Iran’s refusal to allow new cameras to be installed at Karaj, with some countries suggesting Tehran could face diplomatic censure if inspectors aren’t allowed back in soon.
Last week, Iran said the cameras at the site may have been hacked when the facility was attacked in June and access cannot be permitted while it’s still investigating the incident.
Iranian officials have blamed Israel, which opposed the nuclear deal, for the sabotage as they have after earlier attacks on nuclear infrastructure. Israel has declined to comment on allegations of involvement.
Negotiators from Iran and world powers are in Vienna trying to save the 2015 accord that lifted sanctions on the Iranian economy in exchange for strict limits on the country’s atomic program. On Monday, European diplomats warned time is running out for negotiators to agree on the return of the U.S. to the agreement.
Tehran significantly increased its nuclear work and curtailed international inspections in response to the Trump administration’s decision in 2018 to leave the nuclear deal and sanction Iran’s economy.
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