23, February 2021
Iran has stopped the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Safeguards Agreement that allowed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to carry out short-notice inspections of the country’s nuclear facilities, following a deadline set by Tehran for the removal of US sanctions.
Talking to reporters, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif confirmed that the implementation of the Additional Protocol had been stopped as of Tuesday morning.
Kazem Gharibabadi, Iran’s permanent representative to Vienna-based international organizations, also announced late on Monday that all the IAEA’s additional access to the nuclear sites would be halted by midnight.
“As of 12:00 p.m. local time (2030 GMT), we have nothing called obligations beyond the Safeguards Agreement,” he said. “Necessary orders have been issued to nuclear facilities.”
Zarif pointed out that Iran will continue to implement its commitments under the NPT Safeguards Agreements and cooperate with the IAEA.
He explained that footage recorded by cameras at Iran’s nuclear sites will now be withheld and no longer shared with the IAEA on a daily and weekly basis as was done in the past.
The foreign minister also noted that Iran will have no official meeting with the US, since Washington is no longer a party to the nuclear deal.
The halt came under the Strategic Action Plan to Counter Sanctions, a law passed last December by the Iranian Parliament.
The legislation set February 23 as a deadline for the Iranian government to further scale back compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), if the US does not lift its sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
The withdrawal from the Protocol adds to Iran’s previous steps away from the JCPOA in response to the US’s unilateral withdrawal in 2018 and the other parties’ failure to fulfill their commitments.
Admin. welcomes Leader’s call for unity with Parliament
Additionally, the administration of President Hassan Rouhani on Monday welcomed a call by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei for it and the Parliament to resolve their rifts and act in unison regarding the anti-sanctions law.
“Negotiations and agreements between the Islamic Republic and the IAEA have been in full compliance with the Constitution and the laws of the country, in particular the resolution of the 759th session of the Supreme National Security Council. All experts and security officials have acknowledged that they (the negotiations and agreements with the IAEA) were the most efficient and the least costly way to fully implement the Parliament’s resolution,” it said in a statement.
“The goal of the Islamic Republic and the definite plan of the government are to realize the rights of the Iranian people, intelligently and decisively confront the illegal actions and policies of the United States, and lift the cruel and inhumane sanctions against the Iranian nation as soon as possible,” it added.
During a visit by IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi to Tehran on Sunday, the UN nuclear watchdog struck a three-month deal with Iran.