German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has called on Iran to fully comply with the 2015 nuclear pact with world powers which he said was in Tehran’s interest.
Addressing the UN-sponsored Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on February 22, Maas noted U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration’s stated readiness to rejoin the pact, adding: “It is in Iran’s best interest to change course now, before the agreement is damaged beyond repair.”
Maas said that Germany expected “full compliance, full transparency, and full cooperation” from Iran with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), whose chief Rafael Grossi returned on February 21 from a trip to Tehran.
Iran on February 22 hailed the outcome of Grossi’s visit and a temporary agreement the two sides reached on site inspections as a “significant achievement.”
That deal effectively bought time as all sides try to salvage the agreement, which was pushed to the brink of collapse when former U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from it in 2018.
Tehran is demanding that Washington remove punishing sanctions Trump reimposed in 2018, while Washington has called on Iran to first return to all of its nuclear commitments.
In the standoff, Iran’s conservative-dominated parliament has demanded that the country limit some inspections by the IAEA from February 23.
Grossi hammered out a temporary technical deal with Tehran during his visit, whereby Iran will continue to allow access to UN inspectors to its nuclear sites — but will for three months bar inspections of other, non-nuclear sites.
Grossi said afterwards that the “temporary solution” enables the IAEA to retain “a necessary degree of monitoring and verification work.”
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Saeed Khatibzadeh, said on February 22 that the talks had “resulted in a very significant diplomatic achievement and a very significant technical achievement.”
Khatibzadeh stressed that the outcome was “within the framework of parliament’s binding law.”
Under the agreement reached over the weekend with the IAEA, Iran will temporarily suspend so-called “voluntary transparency measures” — notably inspections of non-nuclear sites, including military sites suspected of nuclear-related activity.
Tehran will for “three months record and keep the information of some activities and monitoring equipment” at such sites, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization said.
This means that cameras will keep running at those sites, “but no footage will be given to the IAEA,” Khatibzadeh said.
The footage will be deleted after three months if the U.S. sanctions are not lifted, Iran’s atomic body has said.