Iran to delete IAEA cameras’ data if US sanctions not lifted: Salehi

The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) says recordings from monitoring equipment that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) installed at the country’s nuclear sites will be deleted if the United States does not lift its unilateral sanctions within the next three months.

Ali-Akbar Salehi said, “Now, the IAEA does not have the right to access surveillance cameras for up to 3 months, and if the sanctions are not lifted, the information recorded by the cameras will be deleted and cameras will be uninstalled. The agency issues a report every three months, so we gave it a chance.”

Salehi made the remarks on Friday, four days after Iran stopped the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Safeguards Treaty, which stipulates enhanced international access to nuclear sites and snap inspections by the IAEA.

The halt came under the Strategic Action Plan to Counter Sanctions, a law passed last December by the Iranian Parliament, and adds to Iran’s previous steps away from the 2015 nuclear deal in response to the US’s unilateral withdrawal in 2018 and the other parties’ failure to fulfill their commitments. 

Last week, the IAEA and the AEOI reached a temporary bilateral technical understanding, under which the latter would continue to use cameras to record information at its nuclear sites for three months, but it would retain the information exclusively. If the US sanctions are lifted completely within that period, Iran will provide the footage information to the UN nuclear watchdog, otherwise it will be deleted forever.

Salehi also noted that the Iranian Parliament had consulted the AEOI regarding the anti-sanctions legislation.

Construction of Bushehr 2, 3 units underway: Official

In another development on Saturday, the AEOI deputy chief provided information about the construction operation at the 1,000-megawatt Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant.

Mahmoud Jafari said in an interview with Fars news agency that a contract had been signed between two Iranian firms and Russia’s Atomstroyexport company to build two 1,057-megawatt nuclear units at the site of the Bushehr facility.

“The construction work of Busher 2 and 3 units began in January 2017 and Iranian companies have completed land and sea engineering studies as the first step,” he added.

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