Iran will respond to the growing pressure on its atomic activity by withdrawing part of the monitoring system that the International Atomic Energy Organization (IAEA) had placed in its facilities. The Secretary General of the IAEA, Rafael Grossi, confirmed on Thursday the Iranian plans, which apparently respond to the approval of a resolution critical of Tehran’s explanations for the discovery of traces of uranium in undeclared facilities.

At a press conference, Grossi has defined the comatose 2015 nuclear agreement as a “fatal blow” that the observation systems of his organization remain partially in the dark for “three or four weeks”. Specifically, as he explained, Iran “will withdraw 27 cameras” and other monitors that were part of a commitment that the country voluntarily adopted on the occasion of the signing of the atomic pact. This allowed to follow processes live in places like Natanz, Isfaján and Tehrán.

The Iranian news agency Tasnim reproduced this Wednesday a statement from the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, announcing the conclusion of its participation in the “ultra safeguards” regime, in which the IAEA was accused of “ignoring the fact that this cooperation showed Iranian goodwill. The text clarified that “80% of the IAEA cameras in Iran” will continue to provide data.

Rafael Grossi has specified that Iran will keep “40 or so cameras” connected, complying with the additional protocol of safeguards linked to the 2015 agreement. In a trill, the analyst and professor at the Univesità Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Abdolrasool Divsallar, interprets this blackout half of Tehran as a “modest retaliation” from the Islamic Republic of Iran: “They are betting on a nuclear escalation to pressure the US/EU to make concessions,” he says.

But the bridges between the protagonists are becoming weaker. This Wednesday night the United Kingdom, France and Germany, signatories of the nuclear agreement, together with the United States, urged Iran in a statement to “fulfill its legal obligations and cooperate with the IAEA to fully clarify and resolve the issues without further ado.” delays”. The message came shortly after a condemnation resolution from the IAEA, supported by those same countries and rejected by Russia and China.

At the heart of the controversy are a series of facilities that Iran had not previously declared to the IAEA and where, after receiving information from Israel, nuclear inspectors detected traces of uranium. It is believed that at least one of them corresponds to a warehouse that housed a file that supposedly proves that, until 2003, Iran had pursued the manufacture of an atomic weapon. Rafael Grossi has explained that the explanations that Iran has given to date for such findings are not convincing.

The nuclear agreement that Iran and a number of countries signed seven years ago allowed for the establishment of a comprehensive monitoring system in exchange for the lifting of sanctions and the Iranian refusal to enrich uranium above limits sufficient for peaceful atomic activity. In exchange, all existing sanctions were lifted. In 2017, the former US president withdrew from the pact and reimposed sanctions, leading to a fateful escalation that continues to this day and has fueled regional tension and the Iranian atomic race.

Claiming its right to respond to sanctions within the framework of the agreement, Iran has increased its uranium storage and its purity above limits, approaching those required to produce a nuclear weapon that Tehran says it does not pursue. Although US leader Joe Biden advocated returning to the agreement track, and the talks to achieve it were on track, the US and Iran have reached an impasse, which, if tensions rise, could become dangerously insurmountable.

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