Iran Refuses to Give Nuclear Site Images to IAEA

By Reuters
June 28, 2021 Updated: June 28, 2021

DUBAI—The speaker of Iran’s parliament said on June 27 that Tehran will never hand over images from inside of some Iranian nuclear sites to the U.N. nuclear watchdog, as a monitoring agreement with the agency had expired, Iranian state media reported.

“The agreement has expired. … Any of the information recorded will never be given to the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA], and the data and images will remain in the possession of Iran,” Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf said.

The announcement could further complicate talks between Iran and six major powers on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal.

A spokesman for Iran’s parliament’s National Security and Foreign Affairs Committee warned that “Iran will also turn off the IAEA cameras if the United States fails to remove all sanctions,” the state-run Tehran Times newspaper’s website reported.

The IAEA and Tehran struck the three-month monitoring agreement in February to cushion the blow of Iran reducing its cooperation with the agency, and it allowed monitoring of some activities to continue that would otherwise have been axed.

Under that agreement, which on May 24 was extended by a month, data continues to be collected in a black-box-type arrangement, with the IAEA only able to access it at a later date.

On June 25, the IAEA demanded an immediate reply from Iran on whether it would extend the monitoring agreement, prompting an Iranian envoy to respond that Tehran was under no obligation to provide an answer.

Iran said on June 23 that the country’s Supreme National Security Council would decide whether to renew the monitoring agreement only after it expires.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on June 25 that any failure by Tehran to extend the monitoring agreement would be a “serious concern” for broader negotiations.

Parties involved in the talks on reviving the deal, which began in April in Vienna, have said there are major issues still to be resolved before the nuclear deal can be reinstated.

By Parisa Hafezi