Iran Ready to Limit Nuclear Inspections if US Fails to Lift Sanctions

Under a law passed by parliament, Iran will limit inspections on February 21st

On Monday, Iran said it would be obliged to limit inspections of its nuclear program by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) if it does not receive sanctions relief by February 21st.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the government would be required by law to stop voluntarily implementing the Additional Protocol, which gives the IAEA additional authority for inspections.

In December, Iran’s parliament passed a law that enabled more uranium enrichment and set the February 21st deadline for the US to lift sanctions. While Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was opposed to the legislation, he is required by law to implement it.

The bill was passed in reaction to the assassination of Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was killed in an apparent Israeli plot. Like most US and Israeli pressure, the assassination caused Iran to increase its nuclear activity.

Iranian officials have made it clear that they are willing to scale all of their nuclear activity back to the limitations set by the JCPOA in exchange for sanctions relief, something Khatibzadeh reiterated on Monday. “All these measures are easily reversible with the condition that other parties return to their commitments,” he said.

The Biden administration seems to be in no hurry to give Iran sanctions relief and is demanding Tehran scale back its nuclear activity. Since the US is the party that violated the deal in 2018 by reimposing sanctions, Tehran is calling on President Biden to act first.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has signaled flexibility, suggesting the EU could help coordinate the actions needed to be taken by the US and Iran to return to the JCPOA. But the US is still deliberating on how to approach Iran.

Author: Dave DeCamp

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