UK, France and Germany condemn Iran’s decision to curb nuclear inspections

David Hughes, PA Political Editor

The UK, France and Germany have condemned Iran’s “dangerous” decision to restrict international inspections of its nuclear facilities.

The three European signatories to Iran’s nuclear deal said it was “further violation” of the accord by Tehran.

An Iranian state TV report gave little detail beyond confirming that Iran had made good on its threat to reduce co-operation with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors.

“The law has gone into effect from this morning,” said foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Tehran will no longer share surveillance footage of its nuclear facilities with the UN agency and will cease implementation of the “additional protocol”, a confidential agreement with the IAEA reached as part of the landmark nuclear accord.

The joint statement from Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and his French and German counterparts said the three countries – the E3 – “deeply regret that Iran has started, as of today, to suspend the additional protocol and the transparency measures under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)”.

“Iran’s actions are a further violation of its commitments under the JCPOA and significantly reduces safeguards oversight by the IAEA.

“The E3 are united in underlining the dangerous nature of this decision.”

It will “significantly constrain” the IAEA’s access to sites and the watchdog’s ability to monitor Iran’s activities.

The JCPOA deal was struck between Tehran, the three European nations, China, Russia and the US in 2015 and eased sanctions on Iran in exchange for limits on its nuclear programme.

But the deal has been undermined by Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the US and repeated breaches by Tehran.

His successor in the White House, Joe Biden, has offered to return to the deal if Iran resumes full compliance with its obligations under the accord, but the latest moves suggest Tehran is seeking to force concessions from the US administration.

The joint statement by the three European nations said: “We urge Iran to stop and reverse all measures that reduce transparency and to ensure full and timely cooperation with the IAEA.

“Our objective remains to preserve the JCPOA and to support ongoing diplomatic efforts for a negotiated solution allowing for the return of Iran and the US to full compliance with their JCPOA commitments.”

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