Iran Hits Back at Nuclear Watchdog Over Comments on Plan to Suspend Inspections

IAEA chief warns Iran against enacting plan to increase enrichment

Iran hit back at the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Friday, after the IAEA chief said he was concerned about a plan Iran’s parliament passed to suspend nuclear inspections.

Last week, in response to the killing of Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Iran’s parliament passed a bill that calls for the suspension of IAEA inspections. The legislation would also enable Iran to enrich uranium at 20 percent, a level needed to make fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor, a facility built by the US in the 1960s.

“I cannot imagine who would win from such a situation. If there was any limitation of the IAEA inspectors as a result of this or any other situation were curtailed in their work,” IAEA chief Rafael Mariano Grossi told Sky News on Thursday.

On Friday, Iran’s representative to the IAEA tweeted a response to Grossi. Kazem Gharibabadi said the IAEA’s “sole role is to monitor and verify the voluntary nuclear-related measures as detailed in the JCPOA and to provide regular updates in this regard.” He added that “any assessment or analysis is out of the mandate of the Agency.”

The bill would give European signatories to the JCPOA two months to ease sanctions on Iran’s energy sectors and restore access to the international banking system before Iran went ahead with enrichment and suspension of inspection.

While Iran’s parliament and Guardian Council approved the bill, President Hassan Rouhani is not in favor of it. Ultimately, the nuclear program is under the authority of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, and decisions are ultimately made by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Earlier this week, Rouhani said the US and Iran can easily return to the JCPOA without negotiations. Iranian officials have made it clear that they can quickly come into compliance with the deal if the US lifts sanctions. Joe Biden’s stated plan is to return to the JCPOA and negotiate a follow-on deal on top of it.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.