Iran on Sunday welcomed talks in Tehran with the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, as the implementation of a law that would limit inspections of nuclear weapons approaches. nuclear activities if US sanctions are maintained.
The deadline set by Iranian law expires on Sunday but an Iranian official said it would not come into force until Tuesday, unless the United States announces a lifting of its sanctions.
These sanctions were reinstated in 2018 by former President Donald Trump who unilaterally withdrew his country from the 2015 international agreement that was supposed to frame Iran’s nuclear program.
Mr. Grossi, IAEA Director General, met the President of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization (OIEA), Ali Akbar Salehi, and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
In a statement to Press TV, the English-language state television channel, Zarif said he would discuss with the IAEA chief the implementation of Iranian law, which aims to restrict certain inspections of the IAEA, UN nuclear gendarme, of sites in Iran.
But, according to Zarif, the law would not end in a “dead end” in the collaboration between Iran and the IAEA.
According to Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, “IAEA inspections will be reduced by around 20-30% after the law is implemented.” “This certainly does not mean a withdrawal from the agreement” of 2015.
Increase in uranium stocks
This pact provides for a gradual lifting of sanctions, in exchange for the guarantee that Iran would not acquire atomic weapons. Even if Iran has always denied seeking to acquire such a weapon.
After the unilateral American withdrawal and the reinstatement of the sanctions that strangle the Iranian economy, Iran gradually freed itself from 2019 from several limits that it had agreed to impose on its nuclear program under the agreement. concluded in 2015 with the 5 + 1 group (United States, France, Germany, Great Britain, Russia, China).
According to Zarif, “stocks of enriched uranium will increase” as well, while waiting for the other side to meet its obligations.
“Once everyone has done their part and fulfilled their obligations, then there will be (a resumption) of discussions,” he added.
In December, Iran’s parliament demanded the government to restrict some IAEA inspections of non-nuclear facilities, including suspicious military sites in Iran, if sanctions are not lifted by February 21.
In a gesture to Iran, the United States on Thursday accepted an invitation from Europeans to participate in talks to revive the 2015 agreement. But the next day, Joe Biden called on European powers to work hard. concert with the United States to respond to Iran’s “destabilizing activities” in the Middle East.
In this complex diplomatic context and while Iran and the United States have not maintained diplomatic relations since 1980, Mr. Araghchi said Iran was considering the EU’s proposal for an “informal meeting”.
Mr. Grossi’s visit to Iran received a mixed reception in the Iranian press.
Denouncing “the Western scam”, the ultra-conservative daily Kayhan hailed the law of Parliament, a “strategy” which showed the opposing camp that “breaking the contract is costly”
On the other hand, the reformist newspaper Sharq said it doubts the effectiveness of the passage of this law since Washington “has shown no desire to return to the agreement” under Iranian conditions.