Iran cuts IAEA access to nuclear facilities


Iran reached an agreement with the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to continue allowing inspections of its nuclear sites for the next three months, postponing a deadline that Iran had linked to relief. of US sanctions.

Speaking to Press TV on Sunday after the decision, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif announced again that the United States must take the first step and lift all sanctions before it returns to the terms established by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action ( JCPOA). , also known as the Iran nuclear deal.

“The United States will not be able to rejoin the nuclear pact before the sanctions are lifted,” Zarif said. “Once everyone implements their part of the obligations, there will be talks.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has often said otherwise, insisting that Iran must rejoin the deal before sanctions are lifted, meaning there is, for the moment, a showdown over which country makes the first concessions. .

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However, this week it emerged that the Biden administration was already in talks with Iran: National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan confirmed that Blinken was in contact with Tehran about the American hostages, and Iran’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that the contact it had been done through the Swiss embassy.

The announcement stoked fears that the Biden administration could make concessions for Iran to comply again.

Speaking on Monday, Blinken also said he was looking to “lengthen and strengthen” the Iran deal to include ballistic missile tests and “destabilizing regional behavior,” something Iran has ruled out.

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Iran has been gradually breaching the terms of a 2015 nuclear pact with world powers since the United States withdrew in 2018 under former President Donald Trump and reimposed sanctions. The pact is aimed at preventing Iran from making nuclear weapons, which Tehran says it has never wanted to build.

President Biden has said he is ready to talk about the return of both nations to the agreement, although the two sides have disagreed on who takes the first step, and Zarif said the United States was addicted to sanctions.

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“Biden claims Trump’s maximum pressure policy was the ultimate failure … but they haven’t changed that policy [toward Iran]”Zarif said.” America is addicted to pressure, sanctions and harassment … it doesn’t work with Iran. “

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday. Erdogan reportedly told the Iranian leader that there is a window of opportunity right now for the US economic sanctions on the Islamic republic to be lifted.

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