US Insists That Iran Cooperates With IAEA Without Delay - State Dept.

(@FahadShabbir)

US Insists That Iran Cooperates With IAEA Without Delay - State Dept.

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 24th February, 2021) The United States is calling on Iran to immediately cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on alleged undeclared material, State Department Spokesperson Ned price said on Tuesday.

"We also know that the IAEA continues to investigate a number of serious outstanding issues related to potential undeclared nuclear material in Iran," Price said. "We insist that Iran cooperate with the IAEA to resolve these issues without further delay."

Price added that Washington will be in close consultation with the IAEA board of governors to discuss appropriate action in support of the agency's efforts.

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said earlier on Tuesday that Iran should clarify the presence of traces of nuclear materials found at undeclared facilities.

At the beginning of February, media reported that IAEA inspectors found radioactive traces at two Iranian facilities, sparking concern over possible undeclared nuclear-related activities. The samples were taken during the IAEA inspection carried out in the fall, according to the reports.

The IAEA has not reportedly informed the member states about its findings in Iran, and, in line with the existing procedures, the organization is currently asking Iran to provide an explanation.

Grossi visited Iran over the weekend to discuss Iran's decision to limit IAEA inspections of its nuclear sites.

Iran had threatened to suspend all inspections by February 23 if the US sanctions against the Islamic Republic were not lifted by Monday.

Iran and the IAEA were ultimately able to strike a temporary deal, according to which Tehran will continue to fully implement the Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA past February 23, although in a limited capacity.

In 2015, Iran signed the JCPOA with the P5+1 group of countries (the United States, China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom - plus Germany) and the European Union. The agreement required Iran to scale back its nuclear program and downgrade its uranium reserves in exchange for sanctions relief, including lifting the arms embargo five years after the agreement's adoption. In 2018, the United States withdrew from the JCPOA and re-imposed sanctions against Iran, prompting Tehran to largely abandon its obligations under the accord.

In December, Iran passed a law to increase its uranium enrichment and stop UN inspections of its nuclear sites in response to the killing of nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. At the start of January, Iran's atomic energy organization announced that the country had succeeded in enriching uranium at 20 percent at the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant.