Published: Wed, July 10, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

U.S. and Iran to clash at United Nations nuclear watchdog

U.S. and Iran to clash at United Nations nuclear watchdog

Iran remains committed to the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), but at the same time defends the nation's rights, Mousavi was quoted as saying by Press TV.

The U.S. pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal unilaterally a year ago and re-imposed crippling sanctions.

Diplomats from several countries on the board said that while fiery exchanges between the Iranian and United States envoys were likely at the closed-door meeting, they did not expect the board to take any concrete action.

"Iran has always been secretly 'enriching, ' in total violation of the bad 150 Billion Dollar deal made by John Kerry and the Obama Administration", Trump wrote on Twitter.

He later told reporters that if the US was serious about wanting to negotiate with Iran, it should drop all sanctions.

"There is no credible reason for Iran to expand its nuclear program, and there is no way to read this as anything other than a crude and transparent attempt to extort payments from the worldwide community", said a Trump administration statement issued at the closed-door session of the IAEA board in Vienna.

"After the United States withdrawal from the nuclear deal and its renegade on the JCPOA, the Islamic Republic resorted to reciprocity vis-a-vis imposing United States unilateral sanctions by adopting a mechanism to reduce commitments to JCPOA", he said.

Meanwhile, Iran's envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Gharib Abadi, stated that Iran is looking into all possible options regarding the country's "third phase" in scaling down its commitments under the nuclear deal. Instead, they said all parties to the deal should meet urgently. Nevertheless, Iran could use the Europeans to deliver a message to Washington, that Tehran would consider halting its nuclear provocations or other escalatory actions in exchange for even a partial USA sanctions rollback - through more oil purchase waivers.

The IAEA was also said to have verified that Iran's stockpile of low-enriched uranium had grown since the 300kg (660lb) limit was exceeded on 1 July.

The UN watchdog told members states in a closed-door meeting on Wednesday that Iran is enriching uranium to 4.5% purity, above the 3.67% limit set by its deal, diplomats familiar with the figures said.

The International Atomic Energy Agency had previously only said Iran was over the 3.67% limit.

Trump said last month he had called off a retaliatory military strike against Iran at the last minute after the Islamic republic shot down a U.S. drone that it said had crossed into its airspace, a claim denied by Washington. "It is imperative that this misbehaviour not be rewarded, for if it is, Iran's demands and provocations will only escalate".

Wolcott reiterated that Washington believes the deal was ineffective, but remains "open to negotiation without preconditions".

The US and the European countries are deceiving us.

The measures are in response to the US' withdrawal and Europe's failure to comply with its own JCPOA commitments regarding Iran's economic interests.

Britain, France and Germany are considering their next move, torn between the urge to show their displeasure at Iran's breaches and wanting to keep alive a deal that signatories in 2015 touted as vital to preventing wider war in the Middle East. Iran denies any involvement in the attacks on the tankers and says the drone had veered into its airspace.

Rouhani called the seizure "mean and wrong" during a Cabinet meeting, IRNA reported. "You are an initiator of insecurity and you will understand its repercussions", he warned the British government, calling for the "full security" of worldwide shipping lanes. Meanwhile, Tehran got into a fresh face-off with United Kingdom over the latter's move to seize an Iranian ship off the coast of Gibraltar over suspicion that it was violating sanctions on Syria.

Rouhani said that Iran's moves were within the framework of the deal and he rejected a warning from European parties to the pact to continue its full compliance.

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