Iran moves ahead on bill that could end nuclear inspections
Iran’s parliament gave preliminary approval to draft legislation that could end inspections of its nuclear sites by early next year, a move that would further weaken the country’s commitment to an already fragile nuclear deal.
Inspections by international monitors would be restricted if US oil and banking sanctions aren’t lifted within three month’s of the bill’s approval. The proposal still requires final approval by parliament and the Guardian Council that vets laws.
In accordance with the multi-party nuclear pact struck five years ago, Iran agreed to give United Nations inspectors more intrusive access to atomic sites.
The draft legislation would also revive the mothballed core of a contentious reactor and increase Iran’s stockpile of uranium enriched to 20%, which could then be purified to weapons-grade material at short notice.
The legislation was first proposed in early November as a signal to the US ahead of its presidential election, but the conservative-majority parliament fast-tracked it after a top Iranian nuclear scientist was assassinated on Friday in an attack Iran blamed on Israel.
US President-elect Joe Biden has said he aims to rejoin the agreement President Donald Trump quit two years ago, provided Iran returns to the full compliance it abandoned in response to the US withdrawal.