Iran Won’t Expel UN Inspectors

Parliament demanded an ultimatum for February 21

Looking to preempt hardliner MPs’ warnings about expelling IAEA inspectors from Iran, the Foreign Ministry has issued a statement Monday insisting that they have absolutely no intention of expelling any of the inspectors, despite it being the law.

Iran’s parliament demanded full US sanctions relief by February 21, with all IAEA inspectors otherwise being kicked out. That was a big ultimatum, opposed by the Rouhani government when it was proposed. Now officials say they’re not going to do it anyhow.

Since expelling inspectors would provoke a huge international backlash, that’s probably a relief to a lot of people. At the same time, it’s likely that this will spark a new hardliner versus reformer battle among Iranian political factions.

The Rouhani government envisions a deal resolving the sanctions relief, and leading Iran to roll back several measures taken to protest lack of sanctions relief. Anything not immediately reversible, like kicking people out, would put that plan at risk, so it’s no surprise they continue to resist.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.