TEHRAN (Dispatches) -- A three-month monitoring deal between Tehran and the United Nations nuclear agency expired on Saturday, Iran’s parliament speaker said on Sunday, adding that access to images of nuclear sites would cease.
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, was to hold a news conference on Sunday afternoon. He is in talks with Iran on extending the monitoring arrangement which could have an impact on negotiations between Tehran and six powers to revive a 2015 nuclear deal, the IAEA said.
“From May 22 and with the end of the three-month agreement, the agency will have no access to data collected by cameras inside the nuclear facilities agreed under the agreement,” Muhammad Baqer Qalibaf said.
Iran’s national TV also quoted an unnamed official saying that the agreement between the agency and Tehran could be extended “conditionally” for a month.
“If extended for a month and if during this period major powers ... accept Iran’s legal demands, then the data will be handed over to the agency. Otherwise the images will be deleted forever,” according to the member of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council.
Qalibaf said the Majlis is fully resolved to implement its Strategic Action Plan to Counter Sanctions, which has tasked the administration with suspending extra commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal.
He told parliament’s open session that Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei backed the law.
“Yesterday it was discussed and the decision was made. The law passed by the parliament will be implemented. The supreme leader has underlined the importance of implementing the law as well,” Qalibaf said.
Last December, Iranian lawmakers overwhelmingly voted in favor of the Strategic Action Plan to Counter Sanctions.
The law tasked the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) with producing and storing at least 120 kilograms of enriched uranium with a 20-percent purity level every year and raising enrichment beyond 20 percent according to the country’s needs.
In February, Iran and the IAEA reached a technical understanding under which Iran agreed to keep the camera footage of its nuclear sites for three months in a goodwill gesture, waiting to see if the other parties to the nuclear deal can bring the U.S. back into full compliance with the accord.
That deadline expired on Saturday, with the prospects of bringing Washington back to compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the nuclear deal is officially known, looking uncertain.
The United States, under former president Donald Trump, left the JCPOA in May 2018 and restored the economic sanctions that the accord had lifted on Iran.
Tehran responded to the U.S. noncompliance through taking a series of remedial measures envisaged in the nuclear deal in case the other side did not observe its obligations.
Iran has insisted that it would observe its commitments only after the U.S. removed all its sanctions in one step and Tehran could verify it.