Iran will expel United Nations nuclear watchdog inspectors unless US sanctions are lifted by a February 21 deadline set by the hardline-dominated parliament, a lawmaker stated on Saturday.
Parliament passed a law in November that obliges the government to halt inspections of its nuclear web pages by the International Atomic Energy Agency and step up uranium enrichment beyond the limit set beneath Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal if sanctions are not eased.
Iran’s Guardian Council watchdog body authorized the law on Dec. 2 and the government has stated it will implement it.
“According to the law, if the Americans do not lift financial, banking and oil sanctions by Feb. 21, we will definitely expel the IAEA inspectors from the country and will definitely end the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol,” stated parliamentarian Ahmad Amirabadi Farahani.
The comments, referring to texts governing the IAEA’s mission and activities, have been carried by quite a few Iranian media outlets.
In a statement, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated Iran had an obligation to let the inspectors access.
“Once again the Iranian regime is using its nuclear program to extort the international community and threaten regional security,” Pompeo stated.
Iran stated on Monday it had resumed 20% uranium enrichment at an underground nuclear facility, breaching the nuclear pact with key powers and possibly complicating efforts by U.S. President-elect Joe Biden to rejoin the deal.
Iran started violating the accord in 2019 in response to President Donald Trump’s withdrawal of the United States from it in 2018 and the reimposition of US sanctions that had been lifted beneath the deal. Tehran normally says it can rapidly reverse its breaches if Washington’s sanctions are removed.