No decision yet on UN nuclear watchdog's monitoring deal, says Iran

Iran said that the country's top security body would decide whether to renew the temporary agreements.
Iran said that the country's top security body would decide whether to renew the temporary agreements.PHOTO: REUTERS

DUBAI (REUTERS) - Iran said on Monday (June 28) it has yet to decide whether to extend a monitoring deal with the United Nations nuclear watchdog which lapsed last week, amid Washington's warning that Teheran's failure to renew it would complicate talks to revive its 2015 nuclear accord.

"No decision has been made yet, either negative or positive, about extending the monitoring deal with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)," foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told a televised weekly news conference.

Iran and world powers are in negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, under which Iran accepted curbs to its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of international sanctions.

Washington abandoned the deal in 2018, and Teheran responded by violating some of its nuclear restrictions. In February, Iran halted an agreement with the IAEA that allowed additional inspections of Iranian nuclear sites. Some inspections were extended under temporary deals, but those expired last Thursday.

Last Friday, the IAEA demanded an immediate reply from Iran on whether it would extend the agreement, while US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said any failure to extend it would be a "serious concern" for broader negotiations.

Iran said last week that the country's top security body, the Supreme National Security Council, would decide whether to renew the temporary agreements, under which data and footage were still collected in some places where inspections stopped.

"Also, there has been no new decision about deleting the data and footage from the IAEA's cameras," Mr Khatibzadeh said.

On Sunday, the speaker of Iran's parliament said Teheran will never hand over images from inside of some Iranian nuclear sites to the IAEA, as the agreement with the agency had expired.

Iran's talks with world powers on the nuclear pact, under way since April 9, were paused last week and are expected to resume in coming days. The parties said last week that major gaps remain.

"Many issues have been negotiated sufficiently... Now the other parties must make their tough decisions if they want to reinstate the deal," Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi was quoted as saying by state media.