Iran has withdrawn the designation of several inspectors assigned to conduct verification activities in Iran under the Non-Proliferation Treaty Safeguards Agreement.
Rafael Grossi, Director General of UN nuclear watchdog, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), made the rare public statement on Saturday amidst the national rallies taking hold in Iran and abroad around the one-year anniversary of the death of Mahsa Amini.
It is the latest move to stonewall inspectors by the Iranian regime, which just recently withdrew the designation of another experienced IAEA inspector for Iran.
“With today’s decision, Iran has effectively removed about one third of the core group of the Agency’s most experienced inspectors designated for Iran,” Grossi said in a statement.
“This measure, while formally permitted by the NPT Safeguards Agreement, 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.”
Grossi strongly condemned Iran’s “disproportionate and unprecedented unilateral” decision, saying it will affect the IAEA’s verification activities in Iran.
He admitted that it is both “a step in the wrong direction” and “constitutes an unnecessary blow to an already strained relationship between the IAEA and Iran in the implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement”.