According to the US State Department, Iran’s unwillingness to allow foreign nuclear inspectors access to its most contentious nuclear sites is making it harder for President Joe Biden’s administration to fulfill its aim of returning to the 2015 nuclear deal.
In response to an inquiry regarding the Biden administration’s position on Iran’s breaches of the nuclear agreement, a State Department spokesman told The Washington Free Beacon, “Iran wants to return to a diplomatic settlement, but continues to take actions to make that more difficult.”
Iran has placed limits on access to its nuclear installations, igniting a spat with the IAEA, which inspects Iran’s sites as part of the original nuclear agreement.
Iran has been infrequent disagreements with the IAEA since the US abandoned the nuclear deal in 2018 under the administration of former US President Donald Trump and has violated the agreement by producing highly enriched uranium, the main ingredient in producing a nuclear weapon.
Iran’s nuclear misdeeds triggered a barrage of international condemnation, with European nations issuing a joint statement last month expressing their “grave concern” over Iran’s “continued breaches of its nuclear program responsibilities.”
“The IAEA requires access to and inspection of Iranian installations to ensure continuity of follow-up to JCPOA-related nuclear activities, allowing the speedy implementation of any agreement on a mutual return to conformity with the JCPOA,” the spokesperson added.
Meanwhile, Iran continues to press the Biden administration to lift sanctions as a gesture of goodwill before the restart of nuclear talks.
Robert Malley, the US envoy to Iran, met with his South Korean colleague last week to discuss Iran’s aim to retrieve $7 billion in frozen assets.
To finalize the deal, the US would have to lift sanctions, and Iranian authorities have made it clear that they would not do so.
The US would have to waive sanctions to complete the deal, and Iranian leaders have made clear that they expect such an outcome before negotiations begin again.