US threatens escalation with Iran at IAEA next month

Updated: November 26th, 2021 11:05 AM IST

threatens escalation with Iran at IAEA next month

US threatens escalation with Iran at IAEA next month

A cleaning staff works before a news conference attended by IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi during an IAEA Board of Governors meeting in Vienna, Austria, September 13, 2021. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

VIENNA, Nov 25 (Reuters) - The United States threatened on Thursday to confront Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency next month if it does not cooperate more with the watchdog - an escalation that could undermine talks on reviving a 2015 big-power deal with Iran.

Then-president Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the 2015 agreement that lifted sanctions in return for restrictions on Irans atomic activities. He re-imposed debilitating sanctions, after which Tehran progressively expanded its nuclear work and reduced cooperation with the IAEA.

Iran is denying the IAEA access to re-install surveillance cameras at a workshop at the TESA Karaj complex. The IAEA also wants answers on the origin of uranium particles found at apparently old but undeclared sites, and says Iran keeps subjecting its inspectors to "excessively invasive physical searches".

"If Irans non-cooperation is not immediately remedied ... the Board will have no choice but to reconvene in extraordinary session before the end of this year in order to address the crisis," a U.S. statement to the Board of Governors said.

It said it was referring "especially" to re-installing IAEA cameras at the Karaj workshop, which makes parts for advanced centrifuges that enrich uranium.

One of four IAEA cameras installed there was destroyed and its footage is missing. Iran removed all the cameras after the incident. Israel has not commented on the incident.

IAEA chief Rafael Grossi said on Wednesday that he did not know if the workshop was operating again, and that time was running out to reach an agreement.

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