UN nuclear watchdog says Iran remains within 2015 deal limits
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UN nuclear watchdog says Iran remains within 2015 deal limits

In quarterly report, IAEA says Tehran abiding by limits on atomic activity, providing access to all sites and ‘timely and proactive cooperation’

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, Yukiya Amano of Japan, addresses the media during a news conference after a meeting of the IAEA board of governors at the International Center in Vienna, Austria, June 4, 2018. (Ronald Zak/AP)
Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, Yukiya Amano of Japan, addresses the media during a news conference after a meeting of the IAEA board of governors at the International Center in Vienna, Austria, June 4, 2018. (Ronald Zak/AP)

VIENNA, Austria (AP) — The UN nuclear watchdog said Monday that Iran remains within the limitations set by the deal reached in 2015 with major powers, aimed at keeping Tehran from building atomic weapons in exchange for incentives.

In a confidential quarterly report distributed to member states and reviewed by The Associated Press, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran has been abiding with key limitations set in the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA.

The issue has grown more complicated since the US withdrew unilaterally in May from the deal and then reimposed sanctions. Iran’s economy has been struggling ever since and its currency has plummeted in value.

The other signatories to the deal — Germany, Britain, France, Russia and China — are continuing to try and make it work.

Iran’s nuclear enrichment facility in Natanz,300 kms 186 (miles) south of capital Tehran, Iran, April, 9, 2007. (Hasan Sarbakhshian/AP)

In the report, the Vienna-based IAEA said the agency had access to all sites in Iran that it needed to visit and that inspectors confirmed Iran has kept within limits of heavy water and low-enriched uranium stockpiles.

“Timely and proactive cooperation by Iran in providing such access facilitates implementation of the additional protocol and enhances confidence,” the report stated, referring to the procedure detailing safeguards and tools for verification.

US President Donald J. Trump signs an executive order on Iran Sanctions at Trump National Golf Club, August 6, 2018, in Bedminster Township, New Jersey. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

In its last quarterly report in August, the agency also concluded Iran had stayed within key limitations set by the JCPOA.

The US reimposed further oil and banking sanctions on Iran earlier this month that where lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal but granted waivers to eight major importers to continue buying Iranian petroleum products without penalty for another six months.

The latest batch of US sanctions severely impacts Iran’s oil industry, the major source of the country’s foreign revenue. Tehran worries OPEC and non-OPEC countries such as Russia will increase their production to fill the gap in response.

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