Iran Will Reduce IAEA Cooperation Starting Next Week

Will suspend voluntary measures under Additional Protocol

Iran has informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that they intend to reduce certain types of cooperation beginning on February 23, as part of ongoing protests against US sanctions and the assassination of a top Iranian scientist.

This shift was something pushed months ago by the Iranian parliament, and will see them ending voluntary transparency under the Additional Protocol. Despite it being voluntary, the US has long presented it as obligatory, and will doubtless suggest it is a violation.

In practice, this means that Iran will not grant the IAEA every single short-notice inspection they request, particularly to places that are not declared parts of their nuclear program. This has been a sticking point for a time, as Israel and the US often push for inspections of sites never shown to be anything nuclear related.

In addition to the IAEA wanting a lot of extra visits to strange sites, a lot of those sites, even when they turn out non-nuclear in nature, tend to have reports written and leaked to Western nations, which Iran has argued is tantamount to spying.

Iran said that they will continue to grant the IAEA daily access to the Natanz enrichment site, and regular access elsewhere as previously. Some in Iran’s parliament wanted inspectors ousted entirely, but the Rouhani government rejected this.

Germany warned Iran against limiting inspections, and says they should “give diplomacy a chance.” Iran has been trying to give diplomacy a chance throughout the P5+1 deal, but has been unable to sort out the key aspects of sanctions relief since the US dishonored the deal.

The late February deadline was originally seen as trying to encourage the Biden Administration to engage early after taking office, since the Trump Administration clearly was undermining the process left and right. So far, Biden has not said much on his intentions with the Iran deal.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.