Iran warns west against IAEA move as US says time is running out to save nuclear deal

Ebrahim Raisi, who took office as Iranian president in August, speaks at a press conference in Tehran, Iran on June 21, 2021. Majid Asgaripour / WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany, September 8 (Reuters) – The Iranian president on Wednesday warned Western states against Tehran’s rebuke to the UN atomic watchdog after his latest reports criticized his country, while the top US diplomat said time was running out to revive a nuclear deal with world powers.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said in reports to member states reviewed by Reuters on Tuesday that there had been no progress on two central issues: explaining traces of uranium found at several ancient and undeclared sites and obtain urgent access to certain surveillance equipment so that the IAEA can continue to monitor parts of Iran’s nuclear program. Read more

“In the event of a counterproductive approach to the IAEA, it would make no sense to expect Iran to react constructively. Counterproductive measures naturally also disrupt the course of negotiations,” he said. President Ebrahim Raisi said in a telephone interview with European Council President Charles Michel. , according to Iranian state media.

Tuesday’s criticisms of the IAEA mean that the United States and its European allies must now decide whether to push for a resolution at next week’s meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors, made up of 35 country, pressuring Iran to give in.

In 2018, then-President Donald Trump withdrew Washington from the 2015 deal, under which Iran agreed to restrictions on its nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.

The Islamic Republic has responded to the withdrawal and reimposition of sanctions by the Trump administration by violating many of these restrictions.


Indirect talks between the administration of US President Joe Biden and Iran on how the two countries could return to compliance with the deal have not resumed since Raisi, a hardline anti-Western supporter, took office on August 5. France and Germany have called on Iran to return soon. and Raisi said Tehran was ready to do it but not under Western “pressure”. Read more

A resolution could make it more difficult to resume talks on the deal, as Tehran generally bristles with such measures.

Speaking in Germany, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said time was running out for Iran to return to the deal.

“I’m not going to put a date on it but we are getting closer to the point where a strict return to compliance with the JCPOA (nuclear deal) does not replicate the benefits that this deal has achieved.”

Western diplomats have said a decision on how to respond to IAEA reports has yet to be made.

“We are at a point in time discussing with all our partners in the agreement how to react to this,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said alongside Blinken.

Senior French, British and German diplomats will meet with the US envoy to Iran on Friday in Paris to discuss the issue.

Report from the Dubai Newsroom and John Irish in Paris, written by John Irish; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Gareth Jones

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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