Iran blocks UN nuclear inspections
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 2/24/21, 02:50 am
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran would no longer share surveillance footage of its nuclear facilities with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) under a new law passed Tuesday. The U.N. nuclear watchdog reported that as of Feb. 16, Iran had added to its stockpile 38.8 pounds of uranium enriched up to 20 percent — a technical step away from weapons-grade levels. The addition also violates the 3.67 percent purity limit under the joint nuclear deal. IAEA said Iran has also produced uranium metals and spun advanced centrifuges.
What caused Iran to violate the deal? This is Iran’s latest attempt to pressure President Joe Biden’s administration and other members of the nuclear deal to lift economic sanctions on the country. The deal began to crumple after former President Donald Trump withdrew the United States’ membership in 2018. Zarif said the country’s violations are reversible as long as the United States moves first to revive the deal. Iran’s civilian nuclear agency also said it would hold the surveillance footage for three months and hand it over to the IAEA if the country receives sanctions relief. On Monday, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the United States is ready to return to the accord “if Iran comes back into strict compliance.”
Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read Mindy Belz’s in-depth report on Iran’s nuclear program.
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