Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is urging all nations to condemn any efforts by the Iranian regime to expel inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, or otherwise reduce Iran’s cooperation with the IAEA.
“Once again the Iranian regime is using its nuclear program to extort the international community and threaten regional security,” said Secretary Pompeo in a statement.
Iran’s parliament passed a law in December requiring the government to reduce cooperation with the IAEA in the absence of near-term sanctions relief. On January 9, a member of Iran’s parliamentary leadership said that all IAEA inspectors would be expelled unless U.S. sanctions were lifted by February 21.
Secretary Pompeo pointed out that the threat to expel IAEA inspectors has implications for more than just Iran’s commitments under the Iran Nuclear Deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. “Iran,” he said, “has a legal treaty obligation to allow IAEA inspectors access pursuant to Iran’s NPT-required safeguards agreement. Violating those obligations would thus go far beyond Iran’s past actions inconsistent with its JCPOA nuclear commitments.”
Secretary Pompeo noted that the threat to expel the IAEA inspectors follows the Iranian regime’s December announcement that it has resumed 20% uranium enrichment at Fordow, “the fortified underground facility Iran originally constructed in secret, further breaking its nuclear pact,” he said. “The world’s top sponsor of terrorism should not be allowed to enrich uranium at any level.”
“The United States,” declared Secretary of State Pompeo, “fully supports the IAEA’s continued professional and independent verification and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear program. Iran’s expulsion of international inspectors must be met by universal condemnation.”