Iran: We will never hand images of nuclear sites to IAEA

Iranian Parliament speaker makes clear Tehran will not hand over images from its nuclear sites to UN nuclear watchdog.

Elad Benari ,

Vienna International Centre, where IAEA offices are located
Vienna International Centre, where IAEA offices are located

The speaker of Iran's parliament made clear on Sunday that Tehran will never hand over images from inside of some Iranian nuclear sites to the UN nuclear watchdog due to the fact that a monitoring agreement with the agency had expired.

"The agreement has expired ... any of the information recorded will never be given to the International Atomic Energy Agency and the data and images will remain in the possession of Iran," the speaker, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, was quoted by Reuters as having said.

In February, Iran ended the implementation of the Additional Protocol of its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, which enabled the IAEA to collect data on some of Tehran's activities,

Iran’s move was part of its scaling back its compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal in response to former US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in May of 2018.

The IAEA struck a three-month deal with Iran that month to have it hold the surveillance images, with Tehran threatening to delete them afterward if no deal had been reached. The deal was extended for another month in mid-May and expired last week.

On Friday, the IAEA said that Iran has not responded to the agency regarding extending their monitoring agreement and called for an "immediate" answer on the issue.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday that any failure by Tehran to extend the monitoring agreement would be a "serious concern" for broader negotiations.