Jun 28, 2021 12:21 UTC
  • Iran: No decision made yet on deleting nuclear site data

Iran’s Foreign Ministry says Tehran has not decided yet whether to erase footage recorded by cameras at the country’s nuclear sites.

Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh's announcement on Monday came a day after Iran's parliament speaker said Tehran would not hand over the data to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) following the expiration of a monitoring agreement.

“So far no negative or positive decision has been made about the cameras and the previous agreement with the Agency," Khatibzadeh said at a press conference in Tehran.

Earlier this year, Tehran began to take decisive steps away from its nuclear obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, after the parliament passed into law a strategic action plan intended to counter US sanctions, which were put in place after Washington exited the JCPOA. 

Under the law, Iran halted its voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol that allowed the IAEA to carry out short-notice inspections of its nuclear sites, denying the Agency's inspectors access to Iran’s nuclear facilities beyond the Safeguards Agreement.

The move prompted IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi to personally visit Tehran in late February and reach a technical understanding with Tehran under which Iran agreed to exercise more patience over the promised removal of the US sanctions by keeping the camera recordings from its nuclear sites for three months to see if world powers could convince the US to remove its illegal sanctions.

The agreement expired in May amid diplomatic efforts in Vienna to revive the JCPOA and remove the US sanctions, but the two sides agreed to extend the agreement for another month until June 24.

Khatibzadeh reiterated that Iran has not made a decision on whether to further extend the agreement with the IAEA, noting that the Iranian administration’s duties under the Strategic Action Plan to Counter Sanctions law are completely clear and the administration has moved in that direction.

The December law is “binding, and the agreement with the Agency was to address some of the Agency’s concerns within the framework of” the law, he said.

On Sunday, Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf asserted that “no recorded data will ever be given to the Agency and the data will remain in the possession of the Islamic Republic.”

Qalibaf also confirmed that the Strategic Action Plan to Counter Sanctions is currently being implemented in full.