Lack of IAEA-Iran monitoring deal serious concern: US
The lack of an interim agreement between the UN nuclear watchdog and Iran on the monitoring of atomic activities is a serious concern that has been communicated to Tehran, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday.
Struck on Feb. 21, the interim monitoring deal was valid for three months, then extended by a month on May 24. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said it expired on Thursday. It is in talks with Iran on another extension.
“This remains a serious concern,” Blinken told reporters at a news conference in Paris alongside his French counterpart JeanYves Le Drian. “The concern has been communicated to Iran and needs to be resolved.
Kazem Gharibabadi, Iran’s ambassador to the watchdog, said that “Iran was not required to comply” to the IAEA head’s request, the Tasnim news agency reported.
“We still have significant differences with Iran,” Blinken said, adding that he hoped a resumption of talks in the coming days could resolve them. Blinken, who said talks would not last indefinitely, said the immediate priority was to put the nuclear deal “back in the box,” but that the US and its partners would also have the tools if a deal was agreed on to handle Iran’s regional and missile activities.
Le Drian said the ball was in the court of Iran’s decision-makers and that the negotiations had now entered their toughest stage. “We’re waiting for Iranian authorities to take the final difficult decisions to allow for the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal,” he said.