| 24 February 2024, Saturday |

Iran ends snap nuclear inspections, state-run daily urges caution

Overly radical actions in the nuclear wrangling with the West may lead to the Tehran’s isolation after Iran stopped snap inspections by United Nations inspectors, an Iranian government newspaper warned on Tuesday.

Kazem Gharibabadi, Iran’s envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, said it had ended implementation of the so-called Additional Protocol at midnight (2030 GMT) on Monday. The agreement allowed the IAEA to carry out short-notice inspections.

The state-run daily newspaper Iran slammed hardline lawmakers who protested on Monday at Tehran’s decision to permit “necessary” monitoring by UN inspectors for 3 months, saying this broke a law passed by parliament in an apparent effort to pressure the United States to lift sanctions.

The law requires stopping snap inspections by the UN nuclear watchdog from Tuesday if sanctions are not lifted.

“Those who say Iran must take swift tough action on the nuclear accord should say what guarantee there is that Iran will not be left alone as in the past… and will this end anywhere other than helping build a consensus against Iran?” the daily Iran said.

To create room for diplomacy, the UN watchdog IAEA on Sunday reached a deal with Iran to cushion the blow of Tehran’s reduced cooperation and refusal to permit short-notice inspections.

On Monday, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Iran might enrich uranium up to 60% purity if the country needed it, while repeating a denial of any Iranian intent to seek nuclear weapons.

A US State Department spokesman said Khamenei’s comments “sound like a threat” but reiterated US willingness to engage in talks with Iran about returning to the 2015 nuclear deal.

Washington said last week it was ready to talk to Iran about both nations returning to the accord ditched by former US President Donald Trump.

Tehran said last week it was studying a EU proposal for an informal meeting between current members of the deal and the US, but has yet to respond to it.

  • Reuters