Iran Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant PA

Iran: Inspectors may no longer access images of nuclear site

Iran Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant PA

International inspectors may no longer be allowed to access images of Iran's nuclear sites, the country's parliament speaker has announced.

Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf's comments were aired by state TV and came as tensions escalate over diplomatic efforts in Vienna to save Tehran's atomic accord with world powers.

The Islamic Republic is already enriching and stockpiling uranium at levels beyond those allowed by its 2015 nuclear deal.

"Regarding this, and based on the expiration of the three-month deadline, definitely the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will not have the right to access images from May 22," Mr Qalibaf said.

Under what is called an Additional Protocol with Iran, the IAEA "collects and analyses hundreds of thousands of images captured daily by its sophisticated surveillance cameras", the agency said in 2017.

The logo of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is seen outside the IAEA headquarters 010321 CREDIT Reuters Alamy Stock Photo.jpg
Iran's parliament speaker said the IAEA will not have the right to access images from 22 May (Picture: Reuters/Alamy Stock Photo).

The United Nations agency also said then that it had placed "2,000 tamper-proof seals on nuclear material and equipment".

In December, Iran's hard-line parliament approved a bill that would suspend part of UN inspections of its nuclear facilities if European signatories did not provide relief from oil and banking sanctions by February.

The IAEA struck a three-month deal with Iran to have it hold the surveillance images, with Tehran threatening to delete them afterwards if no deal had been reached.

It was not immediately clear if the images from February had been deleted.

Cover image: Library photo of a nuclear plant in Iran (Picture: PA).

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