Iran informed the agency that it would stop implementing “voluntary transparency measures” under the 2015 nuclear deal.

Iran has notified the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that it plans to suspend nuclear inspections outside of its declared sites from February 23, the United Nations nuclear watchdog said.

Iran told the IAEA that it will “cease implementing voluntary transparency measures under the JCPOA from February 23, including the Additional Protocol,” the IAEA said in a statement on Tuesday.

The additional protocol of the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal with the world powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), enables the watchdog inspectors to visit undeclared locations in Iran at short notice.

On Monday, the Iranian State Department threatened to take such a step if the nuclear dispute with the United States – the lifting of US sanctions – did not break through by the end of the month.

In 2018, the former US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the nuclear deal and again imposed tough sanctions against Iran.

A year later, Iran gradually reduced its obligations under the agreement.

The Gulf nation has increased its uranium enrichment rate to 20 percent and is planning further violations of its obligations in accordance with the December laws ratified by parliament.

The law was passed after the murder of nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh near Tehran in late November.

“Must lift sanctions”

Earlier this month, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that if the US wants Iran to return to its JCPOA commitments, “the US must lift sanctions entirely…. and not just verbally, on paper ”.

US President Joe Biden wants his country to rejoin the 2015 pact, but he wants Iran to take confidence-building steps first.

During his presidential campaign, Biden had said he hoped to return to the Iranian nuclear deal and bring Tehran back into line.

Since taking office, however, von Biden’s administration has taken a tougher line, saying US negotiators will not contact their Iranian counterparts until Tehran is fully compliant again.

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