The Iranian government welcomed the agreement with the IAEA to continue inspecting its nuclear facilities.
Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei also welcomed what he called the late steps for Washington, which he said put it on the right track, but it is not enough, expecting Washington to adhere to International Resolution 2231 and not only express positions, as he put it.
The Iranian official pointed out that his country has not yet taken a decision regarding Washington’s participation in the meeting of the nuclear agreement committee, saying that Tehran must be convinced that this participation will have positive results.
On the other hand, Rabiei said that there are understandings with South Korea and Japan to release the frozen Iranian funds.
Meanwhile, Iran officially announced the suspension of the additional protocol, starting today, Tuesday.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman affirmed that the agreement between his country and the International Atomic Energy Agency regarding the inspection process will be within the law approved by the Iranian parliament, and is not considered a violation of it.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that stopping the additional protocol does not mean stopping cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, considering Tehran’s recent agreement with the agency “an important diplomatic success.”
Zarif added in statements to him today, Tuesday, that Iran will continue cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency within the framework of the Treaty on the Limitation of Nuclear Weapons.
The additional protocol provided a wide area of inspection of Iran’s nuclear facilities, after it was voluntarily implemented by Tehran following the signing of the nuclear agreement in 2015.
Who steps first?
For his part, US State Department spokesman Ned Price affirmed Washington’s readiness to re-engage in talks with Iran to return to the nuclear agreement.
Price added that the United States is ready to meet with the Iranians within the framework of the “5 + 1” mechanism to reach a stage in which Iran adheres to its commitments, after which Washington will do the same.
In turn, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said – in a speech to the Conference on Disarmament sponsored by the United Nations in Geneva – that the United States remains committed to ensuring that Iran does not acquire nuclear weapons.
Blinken added that Washington would seek to address other concerns, including Iran’s behavior in the region and its missile program.
The Iranian parliament unanimously adopted a decision to refer Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to the judiciary, due to the recent agreement between Tehran and the International Atomic Energy Agency, which allows the agency to continue inspections temporarily for a period of 3 months.
A number of deputies interpreted this agreement as a violation of the law on lifting sanctions and ensuring national interests that parliament had previously voted on, and the file was transferred to one of the specialized committees in Parliament for a decision.
For its part, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran 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.
Warning not to overdo it
In a related context, a newspaper run by the Iranian government warned today, Tuesday, that the exaggerated behavior regarding the nuclear dispute with the West may lead to the isolation of the country after Tehran stopped the surprise inspections carried out by the United Nations inspectors.
Iran’s envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Kazem Gharib Abadi, said that his country had stopped implementing what is known as the “Additional Protocol.”
The agreement had allowed the agency to conduct inspections that Iran had been notified of shortly before.
The state-run Iran newspaper criticized the conservative MPs who protested Monday against Tehran’s decision to allow UN inspectors “necessary” monitoring for up to 3 months, saying the decision violates a law passed by parliament, in an apparent effort to pressure the United States to lift sanctions.
The law provides for the suspension of surprise inspections by the United Nations agency, starting today, Tuesday, unless sanctions are lifted.
“As they say that Iran should take swift and strict action on the nuclear deal, they should say what are the guarantees that Iran will not be left alone as was the case in the past, and will this lead to anything other than helping to form a consensus against Iran?” .
To make room for diplomacy, the agency reached an agreement on Sunday with Iran to mitigate the impact of the decline in Iranian cooperation and refuse to allow sudden inspections.
Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Monday that Iran could enrich uranium by up to 60% if the country needed to do so, while reiterating Iran’s denial of any intention to seek nuclear weapons.
The nuclear agreement – which Iran concluded with 6 world powers in 2015 and which it has violated since the United States withdrew from it in 2018 – determines the fissile purity at which Tehran can enrich uranium at 3.67%, which is much less than the 20% that the Islamic Republic reached before the agreement was concluded. And far less than the 90% needed to build a nuclear weapon.
A US State Department spokesman said that Khamenei’s statement “appears threatening,” and reiterated his country’s readiness to enter into talks with Iran on returning to the nuclear deal.
Washington said last week it was ready to talk to Iran about the two countries returning to the deal abandoned by former President Donald Trump.
Tehran said last week that it was studying a proposal by the European Union to hold an informal meeting between the countries currently participating in the nuclear deal and the United States, but had not responded yet.
And there is a dispute between Washington and Tehran, which has resumed enrichment to 20%, in an apparent attempt to increase pressure on the United States over who should take the first step to revive the agreement.
Iranian leaders insist that Washington must first halt its punitive campaign to restore the deal, while Washington says Tehran must first return to full compliance with the nuclear deal.