Iran will execute nuclear law to halt Additional Protocol on Feb. 23: ambassador

February 16, 2021 - 22:25

TEHRAN – Iran will implement a nuclear law obligating the government to halt implementing the Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) on February 23, Kazem Gharibabadi, Iran's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to international organizations in Vienna, said on Monday.

“Act of Parliament will be executed on time (23 Feb) and the IAEA has been informed today to ensure the smooth transition to a new course in due time. After all, goodwill brings about goodwill!” Ambassador Gharibabadi said in a tweet on Monday.

Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s permanent representative to international organizations in Vienna, commented on the tweet. He said Garibabadi’s tweet meant that Iran would continue to implement the Additional Protocol for two more days.

“That means that Additional Protocol will continue to apply to IAEA activities in Iran for additional 2 days. Not many, but now when we face race against time every day counts. We need to try to make real progress on JCPOA implementation before Navruz at the latest (21.03.2021),” the Russian diplomat said in a tweet on Monday night.
Navruz or Norouz is the name for the Persian New Year which starts on March 21.  


On February 21 the Iranian government will be obligated to start implementing a nuclear law that was passed mainly to compel the West to realize that Iran will resume the full implementation of the 2015 nuclear deal – formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) - only after the remaining parties to the JCPOA as well as the U.S. started keeping their end of the bargain.

On December 10, the official gazette of record for the Islamic Republic of Iran published a 9-article law that set the stage for Iran to substantially increase its nuclear activities, including raising the level of uranium enrichment to up to 20% in early January.

The nuclear law, officially called “Strategic Action to Lift Sanctions and Protect the Nation’s Rights,” outlines a step-by-step strategy for Iran to force the West into changing its policies toward Iran, according to Abolfazl Amouei, the spokesman for the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee.

“By enacting the Strategic Action to Lift Sanctions, the Parliament aims to exert pressure on Western parties and force them into changing their policies,” Amouei told the Tehran Times on Sunday.

The nuclear law stipulates that the Iranian government should take certain nuclear measures such as raising the level of uranium enrichment to 20% and suspending the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol in few months if the Western parties failed to honor their obligations under the JCPOA.

The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) started to increase the level of uranium enrichment to 20 percent.

The sixth article of the law clearly stipulates that if the remaining parties to the JCPOA – Germany, France, China, Russia and the UK- failed to facilitate Iran’s oil exports and the return of Iranian oil revenues in two months, the Iranian government would be obligated to stop inspections beyond the International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards, including the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol, which allows unannounced and intensive inspections of nuclear sites.

Gharibabadi said Iran has sent a letter to the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) informing him of its decision to stop implementing voluntary measures as of February 23, according to a statement issued by Iran’s Permanent Mission to the UN in Vienna.

“This action was taken in implementation of the law approved by the Islamic Consultative Assembly, for the lifting of sanctions and protection of the interests of the Iranian people and is in line with the rights of the Islamic Republic of Iran under Articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA and due to non-compliance by the other parties with their commitments to lift illegal sanctions,” Gharibabadi said.


He added, “In this letter, we asked the Agency to take the necessary measures as soon as possible to implement Iran's requests to suspend various voluntary actions, including the implementation of the Additional Protocol.”

“From now on, cooperation between Iran and the IAEA will continue solely on the basis of safeguard commitments, until the lifting of sanctions in a practical and tangible manner paves the way for Iran to return to the implementation of these measures,” the Iranian ambassador concluded.

Iranian lawmakers have told the Tehran Times that ceasing implementation of the Additional Protocol will include measures such as turning off the surveillance cameras that were placed in Iran’s nuclear facilities in accordance with the Additional Protocol.

“The Islamic Republic has accepted a higher level of inspection as part of its obligations under the JCPOA. Prior to the nuclear deal, Iran was a member of the NPT and has a safeguard agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency, but after the JCPOA Tehran agreed to implement the Additional Protocol voluntarily as well as some additional monitoring of its activities,” Amouei said in his interview with the Tehran Times.

“The Majlis has obliged the government to suspend the implementation of the Additional Protocol and a further safeguard monitoring if Iran’s oil sales and banking ties with the world are not facilitated by February 21 or 23,” he noted, adding, “This does not mean expulsion of IAEA inspectors, but access based on the Additional Protocol will be cut off. Inspections related to the Additional Protocol will be stopped. The surveillance cameras that were placed in accordance with the Additional Protocol will be unplugged. However, the entire Iranian nuclear program remains under the safeguards of the Agency.”

Akbar Alizadeh, a member of the parliamentary committee, also echoed the same position.

Alizadeh told the Tehran Times that Iran would stop implementing the Additional Protocol within a week if the U.S. refused to lift sanctions.

Asked whether the Americans or Europeans have done anything to convince Iran not to implement the nuclear law, Alizadeh said the West is not taking the initiative to address Iran’s concerns.

“We hope that they would come to their senses and lift the sanctions but, unfortunately, there is no sign that they are going to do so,” the lawmaker told the Tehran Times.


Alizadeh said Iran will stop “intrusive inspections” that are being done in accordance with the Additional Protocol, whose implementation will come to an end soon.

Alizadeh said the measure will include unplugging the cameras that were placed in Iran’s nuclear facilities according to the protocol.

Several other Iranian officials have linked the continuation of the intensive inspections to the lifting of sanctions.

Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, said on Monday Iran will end its voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol to the NPT Safeguards Agreement if the other parties to the JCPOA fail to honor their commitments by the deadline.

“This measure means an end to inspections beyond the Safeguards Agreement, but does not mean an end to all inspections. In fact, Iran is a member of the Safeguards Agreement and the NPT, but the implementation of the Additional Protocol will be halted,” he pointed out.

President Hassan Rouhani also said that Iran will return to full implementation of its commitments under the nuclear deal with world powers if the United States removes all “illegal” sanctions it has unilaterally re-imposed on Tehran after quitting the accord.

Rouhani made the remarks in a Monday meeting with visiting Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.

Rouhani stressed the need for the removal of all anti-Iran sanctions by the U.S. and Washington’s respect for UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorses the nuclear deal.

“Anytime that the United States removes illegal sanctions and returns to law, Iran will immediately return to implementation of all its commitments under the JCPOA,” the Iranian president continued, according to Press TV.

Pointing to the end of Trumpism in the U.S. and the new president's announcement of different policies, including his intention to return to the JCPOA, Rouhani said, “Today, it has been proved to the entire world that the maximum pressure policy has failed and the new U.S. administration has no option but to make up for the mistakes of the previous administration and to fulfill its legal commitments.”

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