Iran to extend IAEA nuclear monitoring deal

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Tehran

Iran has agreed to extend by one month an agreement allowing the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to keep surveillance cameras at nuclear sites. IAEA chief Rafael Grossi told reporters that the deal would now end on 24 June.

Iran reduced its co-operation with the watchdog in February in retaliation for sanctions reinstated by the US when it abandoned a nuclear deal in 2018.

It said the extension was a gesture of “good faith” while talks on lifting the sanctions continued in Vienna.

However, it will expire soon after Iran’s presidential election on 18 June, when hard-line opponents of the outgoing Hassan Rouhani are expected to do well and the Iranian negotiators in the Austrian capital are likely to change.

Iran has gradually breached its commitments under the nuclear deal to put pressure on the US to lift its sanctions and on five remaining parties – China, France, Germany, Russia and the UK – to deliver the promised benefits.

The world powers have been particularly concerned by Iran’s violation of all limits on the production and stockpiling of enriched uranium, which can be used to make reactor fuel but also nuclear weapons.—AFP