Iran Officially Begins Restricting UN Nuclear Watchdog Inspectors


Tehran says footage from nuclear facilities will be withheld from IAEA, handed over later if sanctions lifted

Iran began its official ban on snap International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections of its nuclear facilities according to state TV Tuesday, as it escalates the pressure on European countries and US President Joe Biden’s administration to dismantle crippling sanctions.

Iran has said it plans to cease its implementation of the “Additional Protocol,” a confidential agreement between Tehran and the IAEA reached as part of the landmark nuclear accord that grants the UN inspectors enhanced powers to visit nuclear facilities and examine Iran’s program, reported The Times of Israel.

The Islamic Republic’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reiterated state TV’s message, saying that “the law has gone into effect.”

Practically, it means that Iran will no longer provide the UN’s nuclear watchdog access to its network of security cameras at its nuclear facilities, although Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization revealed that it would keep the footage for three months and release it, only if and when, sanctions were removed.

Tehran has played a canny game with the international community in general and with the Biden administration in particular.

The new president showed his hand early, declaring that he would like to see a US return to 2015’s Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which his then-boss, former President Barack Obama viewed as his crowning foreign policy achievement.

Read More: I24