In December Iran’s parliament passed a law requiring expulsion of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) nuclear inspectors unless all sanctions are lifted. Today a member of the parliamentary leadership repeated that threat: all IAEA watchdog inspectors will be ejected unless sanctions are lifted. Once again the Iranian regime is using its nuclear program to extort the international community and threaten regional security.
Iran’s threat goes much further than violating the JCPOA. Iran has a legal treaty obligation to allow IAEA inspector access pursuant to Iran’s NPT-required safeguards agreement. Violating those obligations would thus go beyond Iran’s past actions inconsistent with its JCPOA nuclear commitments.
Every nation, not only the United States, will attach great importance to Iran’s compliance with these obligations. Nuclear brinksmanship will not strengthen Iran’s position, but instead lead to further isolation and pressure.
This threat follows on the heels of the Iranian regime announcing it has resumed 20% uranium enrichment at Fordow, the fortified, underground facility Iran originally constructed in secret, further breaching its nuclear pact. The world’s top sponsor of terrorism should not be allowed to enrich uranium at any level.
The United States fully supports the IAEA’s continued professional and independent verification and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear program. Iran’s expulsion of international inspectors must be met by universal condemnation.