icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Iran suggests ratifying deeper nuclear inspections in return for US sanctions relief

Iran suggests ratifying deeper nuclear inspections in return for US sanctions relief
The Iranian foreign minister has said he offered Washington to provide the UN nuclear watchdog with immediate expanded access to all parts of the Iranian nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of US sanctions.

Speaking to reporters in New York on Thursday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Tehran had reached out to Washington with a “substantial” offer that would see it agree to robust nuclear inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) four years ahead of schedule.

Such in-depth inspections are envisioned by the Additional Protocol to the 2015 nuclear deal, a supplementary agreement Iran was supposed to ratify in 2023. The protocol guarantees the IAEA “expanded rights of access to information and locations,” thus providing “additional tools for verification” of the state’s compliance with the deal.

Also on rt.com Iran says US ending arms sales to Middle East would open ‘hypothetical’ path towards missile talks

Specifically, it allows the watchdog to “obtain a much fuller picture” of the state’s nuclear programs, stockpiles, plans and trade.

The verification of the protocol by the Iranian parliament, the Majlis, should have coincided with the US lifting all sanctions against Tehran – which is unlikely to happen after the US withdrew from the agreement last May. In spite of Washington's demarche, Iran has kept its end of the bargain, and has observed the Additional Protocol, albeit without ratifying it.

Zarif dismissed the notion that the offer was more of a symbolic nature.

It’s not about photo ops. We are interested in substance.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly indicated that it's up to Iran to make the first step in reconciliation, saying in May that “if they call, we will negotiate.” But almost in the same breath, he spouted threats of “obliteration like you’ve never seen before” and “strong sanctions” – and now that a way forward has been suggested by Tehran, the hopes that Washington will consider it remain slim.

In the absence of official reaction from Washington, anonymous US officials have confirmed it, telling Reuters that Iran's proposal is a ploy to secure sanctions relief while at the same time still planning to produce a nuclear weapon.

READ MORE: Iran denies Pompeo claim that it is ready to negotiate ballistic missile program

On the ground, the US strategy has been more consistent than Trump's bait-and-switch rhetoric. Thousands of extra troops, a carrier strike group, a missile battery and strategic bombers have been deployed to the region, while Iran is being accused of bombing oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, allegations that Tehran denies.

In another flare-up on Thursday, the US claimed to have shot down an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz, which, according to Trump, approached a US Navy vessel. It came a month after Iran shot down a US drone in the same waterway.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.