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Iran Expels IAEA Nuclear Inspectors

Iran has expelled several nuclear energy inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency days after it expelled one such inspector involved in the examination of Iranian nuclear facilities.

"These inspectors are among the most experienced Agency experts with unique knowledge in enrichment technology. They have conducted essential verification work at the enrichment facilities in Iran which are under Agency safeguards," said IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi in a statement.

The IAEA has been going to Iran for years now to make sure the country does not develop nuclear weapons, following the removal of EU and UN sanctions, imposed on Iran during the Ahmadinejad government, which tried to turn Iran into a nuclear power.

The IAEA’s Grossi acknowledged that Iran’s move is not against the rules of the Non-Proliferation Treaty Safeguards Agreement but added that the right to expel inspectors “has been exercised by Iran in a manner that affects in a direct and severe way the ability of the IAEA to conduct effectively its inspections in Iran.”

Reuters noted in a report that Iran’s decision to expel the inspectors comes days after the United States, the UK, France, and Germany called on Tehran to start cooperating with the IAEA to explain traces of uranium that were found at sites undeclared as nuclear energy development sites.

This weekend, the European Union was quick to condemn Iran for expelling the inspectors and urged it to reconsider the decision.

"The European Union is highly concerned by the ... decision by Iran to withdraw the official designation of several experienced IAEA inspectors to monitor and verify its nuclear programme," foreign affairs spokesman Peter Stano said in a statement quoted by Reuters.

"Particularly worrying is the direct and severe impact of this decision on the Agency's ability to conduct its verification activities, which includes the monitoring of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The EU urges Iran to reconsider its decision without delay," Stano also said.

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By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on September 18 2023 said:
    Iran’s expulsion decision doesn’t bode well for a future Iran nuclear deal. The decision came only days after the United States, the UK, France, and Germany called on Tehran to explain traces of uranium that were found at sites undeclared as nuclear energy development sites.

    We aren’t going to see a new Iran nuclear deal soon or ever unless it is on Iran’s own terms.

    The only deal acceptable to Iran is an immediate lifting of all sanctions against it with no new restrictions whatsoever on its nuclear and ballistic missile development programmes. Moreover, Iran will insist that the US drops the designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization. These demands are virtually impossible for the Biden administration or any other administration for that matter to swallow.

    With its success in evading US sanctions and managing to export more than 1.5 million barrels a day (mbd) or 71% of pre-sanction levels, Iran is in no hurry to reach a new deal and would rather focus its efforts on ejecting US military presence from Iraq, Syria and the entire Middle East. This is its ultimate objective of achieving a great geopolitical and strategic victory over the United States.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

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