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Iran notifies IAEA about new sites based on NPT deadlines

Iran says it will announce the sites allocated for its 10 new enrichment facilities within the timeframe set by the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

“Our cooperation will shrink to the level of our safeguards agreement and from now on it will not include articles that require speedy notification about new facilities such as Fordo,” said the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEO).

“Henceforth, Iran will only cooperate within the framework of commitments,” Ali Akbar Salehi added in a Monday interview with Mehr news.

According to the NPT, signatory states are obliged to inform the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of their intention to open a new uranium enrichment facility only six months before the site enters operational phase.

However, on September 21, when Iran notified the IAEA about its plans to construct a new facility in the central town of Fordo, it did not receive welcoming reactions from the nuclear watchdog and Western powers.

While the IAEA conducted a full inspection of the site and announced that it had found no nuclear material at the facility, it criticized Tehran for not announcing its plans even earlier.

Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei did not even move to stop a motion passed at the IAEA Board of Governors, which called on Iran to stop construction at the site, despite having once again confirmed the non-divergence of Iran’s nuclear program in his report.

The above reaction by the IAEA did not go down well in Iran, where the parliament was forced to call for a reduction in voluntary cooperation with the Agency and a return to basic commitments.

Now, considering that parliamentary decision, expectations are that Iran will not announce where the new enrichment sites it plans to build are to be located no sooner than the deadline set by the Agency.

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