Iran moves to block nuclear checks
by Kent Covington
Posted 12/02/20, 07:24 am
Many Iranian lawmakers chanted “Death to America!” and “Death to Israel!” during a vote on whether to discuss a bill to suspend United Nations inspections of the country’s nuclear facilities. The country’s parliament passed the bill on Tuesday, likely in retaliation for the assassination of top Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh on Friday. On Wednesday, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said he opposed the bill as harmful to his efforts to restore the 2015 nuclear deal. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has final say on all such matters.
What does this mean for nuclear development? European signatories of the 2015 deal would have one month to ease sanctions on Iran’s oil and gas sector and restore its access to the international banking system before the inspection suspension takes effect. The United States imposed crippling sanctions on Iran after withdrawing from the deal in 2018. The bill would have Iran resume enriching uranium to 20 percent, which is below the threshold needed for nuclear weapons but higher than required for civilian applications. It would also commission new centrifuges at nuclear facilities at two sites.
Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read Mindy Belz’s analysis on how quickly Iran could develop a nuclear weapon.
Editor's note: WORLD has updated this report since its initial posting.
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