The Islamic Republic of Iran and International Atomic Energy Agency have agreed to temporary measures to offset Iran’s decision to restrict access to inspectors.

  • By December 2020, Islamic Consultative Assembly (Iranian Parliament) passed the law demanding a suspension of some inspections if the USA failed to lift sanctions.

About

  • Iran will stop the implementation of the voluntary measures as envisaged in the year 2015 nuclear deal, as of 23rd February 2021.
    • However, Iran will continue to implement fully and without limitation its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement (CSA) with the International Atomic Energy Agency as before.
      • Under a CSA, the International Atomic Energy Agency has the right and obligation to ensure that safeguards are applied on all nuclear material in the territory, jurisdiction or control of the State for the exclusive purpose of verifying that such material is not diverted to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive.
    • No access will be given to the International Atomic Energy Agency beyond safeguards of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
    • Iran would deny the International Atomic Energy Agency real-time access to footage from surveillance cameras installed at some sites and, if sanctions are not lifted within 3 months, delete it.
  • Significance
    • It certainly seems likely to defuse a mounting sense of crisis surrounding Iran’s nuclear activities and efforts to breathe new life into the 2015 nuclear deal.
    • It significantly reduces the impact of a new Iranian law, passed in 2020, which would have seriously hampered the International Atomic Energy Agency ability to do its work.
  • The 2015 Nuclear Deal
    • By 2015, Iran with the P5+1 group of world powers – the United States of America, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany agreed on a long-term deal on its nuclear programme.
    • The Nuclear deal was named as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and in common parlance as Iran Nuclear Deal.
    • Under the Nuclear deal, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear activity in return for the lifting of sanctions and access to global trade.
    • The Nuclear agreement allowed Iran to accumulate small amounts of uranium for research but it banned the enrichment of uranium, which is used to make reactor fuel and nuclear weapons.
    • Iran was also required to redesign a heavy-water reactor being built, whose spent fuel could contain plutonium suitable for a bomb and to allow international inspections.
IAEA and Iran Deal over Nuclear Inspections

  • US Abandoning the Deal in the 2018
    • By May 2018, the United States of America abandoned the deal criticising it as flawed and reinstated and tightened its sanctions.
    • Since US sanctions were tightened, Iran has been steadily breaking some of its commitments to pressure the remaining signatories to find a way to provide sanctions relief.
    • The United States of America held that it would attempt to force all countries to stop buying Iranian oil and put pressure on Iran to negotiate a new nuclear accord.
  • International Atomic Energy Agency‘s Stand:
    • By 2018, an IAEA’s report concluded that Iran’s stockpile of uranium and heavy water, as well as its implementation of additional protocols, were “in compliance” with the agreement.

International Atomic Energy Agency

  • International Atomic Energy Agency Widely known as the world’s “Atoms for Peace and Development” organization within the United Nations family, the International Atomic Energy Agency is the international centre for cooperation in the nuclear field.
  • Establishment
    • The International Atomic Energy Agency was created in the year 1957 in response to the deep fears and expectations generated by the discoveries and diverse uses of nuclear technology. Headquarters of the IAEA is located in Vienna, Austria.
  • Objective
    • The Atomic Energy Agency works with its Member countries and multiple partners worldwide to promote safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear technologies.
      • By 2005, it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their work for a safe and peaceful world.
  • Functions
    • It is an independent international organization that reports annually to the UN General Assembly.
    • When necessary, the International Atomic Energy Agency also reports to the Security Council in regards to instances of members’ non-compliance with safeguards and security obligations.

IAEA and Iran Deal over Nuclear Inspections IAEA and Iran Deal over Nuclear Inspections