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Iran to limit inspections if U.S., other nations don't comply with nuclear deal

Iran to limit inspections if U.S., other nations don't comply with nuclear deal
IAEA inspectors examine machinery inside a uranium enrichment plant in Natanz, Iran. Monday, Tehran said parties to the JCPOA have a week to come into compliance or it will limit voluntary IAEA inspections. File Photo by Kazem Ghane/IRNA/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Iran increased pressure on the United States Monday to rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal and the other nations involved to hold up their end of the agreement, otherwise it will limit U.N. inspections at Iranian sites.

The Obama-era pact gives the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations nuclear watchdog, access to make snap inspections at Iranian facilities. Tehran said Monday that access will be limited if the other parties to the deal don't "fulfill their obligations" by next Sunday.

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The ultimatum is part of a law Iran passed last year that gives the United States and other nations involved in the agreement -- Britain, Germany, France, Russia, China and the European Union -- until Feb. 21 to come into full compliance.

For the United States, which withdrew from the deal in 2018, that means lifting sanctions against Iranian oil and banking sectors.

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"This measure means an end to inspections beyond the Safeguards Agreement, but does not mean an end to all inspections," foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibizadeh told reporters Monday.

The United States re-imposed sanctions against Iran when it withdrew under former President Donald Trump.

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Since the U.S. withdrawal from the deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Iran has periodically violated parts of the agreement and other parties have questioned whether it can be salvaged.

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U.S. President Joe Biden has said he plans to rejoin the deal, but so far has not taken any formal action on the matter. Since Biden took office, Tehran has said it's giving the United States only a small window to rejoin and that it won't renegotiate key points of the accord.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said Biden is willing to return if Iran does, and then produce a "longer and stronger" agreement.

Iran has also boosted uranium enrichment and said it plans further breaches of compliance if the other parties don't meet all obligations.

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Biden said earlier this month that he won't lift any sanctions until Iran stops enriching uranium.

The JCPOA is intended to limit Iran's nuclear activity to the laboratory and keep it from producing atomic weapons.

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