US to Iran: Allow UN inspectors access

US calls on Iran to stop denying UN nuclear watchdog access to a workshop making centrifuge parts or face diplomatic retaliation.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

Nuclear Iran
Nuclear Iran

The United States on Monday called on Iran to stop denying UN nuclear watchdog access to a workshop making centrifuge parts or face diplomatic retaliation at the agency's Board of Governors within days, Reuters reported.

On Sunday, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced that Iranian officials barred IAEA inspectors from replacing the memory cards of equipment used to monitor operations at an Iranian centrifuge facility.

According to the IAEA report Sunday, while inspectors from the UN-affiliated agency were able to change the memory cards at most of the locations being monitored, Iranian officials prevented them from doing so at the TESA Karaj complex, where centrifuges – used to enrich uranium for Iran’s nuclear program – are assembled.

"We are deeply troubled by Iran's refusal to provide the IAEA with the needed access to service its monitoring equipment, as was agreed in the September 12 Joint Statement between the IAEA and Iran," a US statement to the IAEA's 35-nation Board of Governors on Monday said.

"We call on Iran to provide the IAEA with needed access without further delay," the U.S. statement added, according to Reuters. "If Iran fails to do so, we will be closely consulting with other board members in the coming days on an appropriate response."

Iran’s denial of access to the IAEA inspectors came after the sides announced an agreement under which IAEA inspectors would receive access to surveillance equipment at Iranian nuclear facilities.

In February, Iran ended the implementation of the Additional Protocol of its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, which enabled the IAEA to collect data on some of Tehran's activities,

Iran’s move was part of its scaling back its compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal in response to former US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in May of 2018.

The IAEA struck a three-month deal with Iran that month to have it hold the surveillance images, with Tehran threatening to delete them afterward if no deal had been reached. The deal was extended for another month in mid-May.

After the deal expired, the IAEA said that Iran has not responded to the agency regarding extending their monitoring agreement and called for an "immediate" answer on the issue.

Iran later announced that it will never hand over images from inside of some Iranian nuclear sites to the UN nuclear watchdog due to the fact that the monitoring agreement had expired.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Simchat Torah and Shmini Atzeret in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)