Iran, IAEA Agree to One-month Extension of Nuclear Monitoring Deal

Extension comes after three-month deal on surveillance cameras at nuclear sites expired Sunday

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President Hassan Rohani, second right, listens to head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi while visiting an exhibition of Iran's new nuclear achievements in Tehran, Iran
President Hassan Rohani, second right, listens to head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi while visiting an exhibition of Iran's new nuclear achievements in Tehran, IranCredit: AP

Iran has informed the UN nuclear watchdog that it has decided to extend a monitoring deal with the agency for a month, Iran's envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency said on Monday, according to the Etemad website.

"The Director General of the IAEA today has been informed about Iran's decision ... The data from the last three months are still in the possession of Iran and will not be handed over to the IAEA. The data of the next month will remain only with Iran according to the agreement," Gharibabadi was quoted as saying.

Iran said on Sunday that a three-month monitoring deal between Tehran and the IAEA had expired and that IAEA access to images from inside some Iranian nuclear sites would cease.

Under a confidential agreement called an “Additional Protocol” with Iran, the IAEA collects and analyzes images from a series of surveillance cameras installed at Iranian nuclear sites. Those cameras helped it monitor Tehran’s program to see if it is complying with the 2015 nuclear deal.

Iran’s hard-line parliament in December approved a bill that would suspend part of UN inspections of its nuclear facilities if European signatories did not provide relief from oil and banking sanctions by February.

The IAEA then struck a three-month deal with Iran in February to have it hold the surveillance images, with Tehran threatening to delete them afterward if no deal had been reached.

Iran since has broken all the deal's limits after then-President Donald Trump in 2018 unilaterally withdrew America from the accord. Negotiations continue in Vienna to see if both the U.S. and Iran can re-enter the deal, which limited Tehran's enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

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