Iran deadline for IAEA inspectors

Few days back, a Member of the Iranian Parliament’s Presiding Board, Ahmad Amirabadi Farahani told the media that Iran will expel United Nations nuclear watchdog (IAEA) inspectors unless U S sanctions are lifted by a Feb. 21 deadline set by the hardline dominated parliament. Iran’s Guardian Council approved the law on Dec 2, 2021 and ordered the government to go ahead for its implementation.

Ahmad Amirabadi Farahani said that According to the law, if the Americans do not lift financial, banking and oil sanctions by Feb. 21, we will definitely expel the IAEA’s inspectors from the country and will definitely end the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol,” He further added that Iran gave the Americans a one-month respite as the new US administration will take office on January 21. They have time till February 21 to take action to lift the sanctions, otherwise the Islamic Republic will stand on the interests of its people.” Amirabadi further said that the main goal of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was to lift sanctions which did not happen.

Iranian government has already resumed its uranium enrichment up to 20 % which is much beyond the limit set by IAEA under JCPOA since 2015. Now, Iranian government is going to implement second part of the legislation which calls for expulsion of IAEA’s Inspectors. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded to this Iranian move and held that “Once again the Iranian regime is using its nuclear program to extort the international community and threaten regional security,” According to him Iran had an obligation to allow the inspectors access.

Iran faced several serious damages by the United States and its allies in the near past. First, US killed a top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, Commander Quds Force in a drone strike in Baghdad 03 January last year. The assassination of an important Iranian Nuclear Scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was another blow to Iranian Nuclear program in the recent months. Presently, Iran is facing sever financial problems due to sanctions imposed by the US after US withdrawal from JCPOA in 2018.

President Elect Joe Biden has recently said in an article that he wants a renegotiation of the contents of the deal before he agrees to rejoin the agreement. According to Biden, he will offer Tehran a credible path back to diplomacy. If Iran returns to strict compliance with the nuclear deal, the United States would rejoin the agreement as a starting point for follow-on negotiations. Biden further added that US wants changes to the contents of the Nuclear deal and guarantees from Tehran that it would be open for compromise to strike multiple deals over its missile and regional powers as well as a number of other issues that have been the bones of contentions between the two sides in the last four decades.

President Elect Joe Biden has clearly explained the future course of action to be adapted by the US while rejoining the JCPOA. While discussing Israeli reaction to the US resumption to JCPOA, we categorically mentioned in these lines that US will renegotiate the deal and likely add new conditions to protect the interests of its allies particularly Israel.

The Iran took current steps not only as retaliatory measures but a well thought strategy to counter the future pressure tactics likely to be use against Iran by its adversaries during negotiation on the deal. The recent statement of Joe Biden clearly supports the analysis of the Frontier Post. On other hand, Iran had pitched the US for violating the nuclear deal. Iranian Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif said that US is in no position to ask for any conditions for its return to JCPOA. He further added that Tehran has its own terms to the US back into the agreement. Now the two sides had set the stage. While drifting away from the deal, Iran has strengthened its position at the negotiation table. If US wants to rejoin the Nuclear Deal, it has to compel the Iran to resume back to JCPOA provisions by giving some concessions instead of gaining some from it.