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Thanks, Obama? Iran adhering to nuclear deal after all

The IAEA has the authority to request access to facilities in Iran, including military ones, if there are new and credible indications of banned nuclear activities there, according to officials from the agency and signatories to the deal.

Iran has remained within key limits on its nuclear activities imposed by its 2015 deal with world powers, a United Nations atomic watchdog report said on Thursday.

It comes a week after the United States' envoy to the U.N., Nikki Haley, visited the agency in Vienna to convey the administration's concerns about ensuring Iran's strict compliance with the agreement.

US President Donald Trump has vowed to "dismantle" the "disastrous" accord between Iran and six major powers curtailing Tehran's atomic activities in exchange for sanctions relief.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal last month - the full transcript of which was published by Politico - President Trump said he did not believe Iran would be found to be in compliance with the agreement.

The Iranian president referred to the Friday statements by US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley who urged the IAEA to request access to Iranian military sites, in what is regarded as an attempt by the US to undermine the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Rouhani further stressed that regulations determine the framework of Iran's relation with the IAEA not Washington and its pressure.

In April, he ordered a review of whether a suspension of nuclear sanctions on Iran was in the USA interest.

It also rejected Tehran's claim that its military sites were off-limits to inspection, saying the agency needs access to all "relevant locations" if suspicions arise of possible hidden atomic activities.

However, the IAEA officials said they would not help the Trump administration make a false case for abandoning the agreement.

Trump has ordered a review of the accord, negotiated under his predecessor Barack Obama, and allies including France fear Washington could renege on the deal in some way and risk Iranian retaliation, escalating instability in the Middle East.

But a USA official, speaking not for attribution, said that Haley, on her August 23 visit to the IAEA in Vienna, had not in fact asked the IAEA to visit any specific Iranian military sites, nor provided any intelligence to the agency that would reflect concerns meriting a request for such a visit. Since sanctions began to roll back, Iran has made multibillion-dollar deals with a number of foreign companies previously barred from doing business with the country.

Under U.S. law, the State Department must notify Congress every 90 days of Iran's compliance with the deal.

Although Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany also signed on to the pact, Iran and the U.S. were the key players.



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