France wants the upcoming meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Board of Governors to be used to send a “strong message” to Iran and is demanding that Tehran return to the limits of the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA. The 35-nation Board of Governors is set to meet on November 24th in Vienna.
“It must return without delay to fulfilling all its commitments and obligations to the IAEA, resume cooperation with the agency and return to full implementation of the JCPOA,” French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anne-Claire Legendre said Thursday. “The IAEA Board of Governors must help send a strong message to Iran in this regard.”
The issue with France’s demand is that Iran has no obligation to return to the JCPOA limits since the US withdrew from the deal way back in 2018 and maintains crippling economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
On Wednesday, the IAEA issued a report detailing its gripes with Iran. Its main issue is over a monitoring deal that was reached earlier in the year after Iran stopped voluntarily complying with the Additional Protocol, an aspect of the JCPOA that allows the IAEA to conduct snap inspections.
As part of the monitoring deal, Iran gave the IAEA access to surveillance cameras at its nuclear facilities. Some of the cameras were damaged at a centrifuge facility in Karaj, Iran, in an attack attributed to Israel. The IAEA has been demanding that Iran allows it to reinstall the damaged cameras. But again, since Iran is no longer bound by the JCPOA, it has no obligation to comply and is likely waiting until negotiations with the US resume on November 29th before making any new deals.