EghtesadOnline: Iran’s three-month deadline for restricting international monitoring of its nuclear sites could be extended “conditionally” by one month, according to an informed official at the Supreme National Security Council’s secretariat.
The unnamed source told Nour News that Iran is examining this possibility in good faith in order to give a chance to the ongoing negotiations in Vienna, Austria, on the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal.
“In case the decision is finalized, it is expected that the negotiating parties use this opportunity and facilitate the process of reaching an agreement by agreeing to Iran’s legal demands,” the official said.
As per a parliamentary law, Iran ended its voluntary permission for short-notice inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency in late February.
The decision was in line with the country’s remedial measures in response to the sweeping sanctions reimposed by the United States after its 2018 withdrawal from the nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
However, to leave room for diplomacy, Iran later agreed to keep video footage of the sites for another three months, until May 21, only to share it with the agency if sanctions were removed by the end of that timeframe.
This came as the new US administration signaled an intention to rejoin the agreement.
Iranian parliament speaker announced the expiration of the deadline on Sunday, stressing that the law will be implemented.
“As of May 22 … the agency will have no access to data collected by cameras inside the nuclear facilities agreed under the agreement,” he said on state TV.
Western diplomats have warned that not extending the IAEA deal could seriously harm efforts to salvage the deal.
President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday that Tehran will continue the talks in Vienna “until reaching a final agreement.”
Iranian officials have entered talks with IAEA Chief Rafael Grossi on a possible extension of the agreement, given the satisfactory progress of the Vienna talks which aim to work out the steps that Tehran and Washington must take, on sanctions and nuclear activities, to return to full compliance with the nuclear pact.
On Wednesday, the fourth round of negotiations was wrapped up, with participants expressing optimism about reaching an agreement in the near future, although there are still disagreements on a number of key issues.
Foreign Ministry Saeed Khatibzadeh had earlier said that extending the deadline would not violate the parliamentary law since the data will not be shared with the UN nuclear agency anyway.