UN’s nuclear watchdog says Iran’s removal of 27 surveillance cameras poses a ‘serious challenge’ to its efforts.
(Al Jazeera) – Iran has started to remove 27 surveillance cameras from nuclear sites in the country, according to the the head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog, who warned that the move could be a near-fatal blow to chances of reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal
Rafael Grossi, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), made the comments at a suddenly called news conference in Vienna on Thursday, standing next to an example of the cameras installed across Iran.
Grossi said the move poses a “serious challenge” to its efforts, warning that in three to four weeks, it would be unable to maintain a “continuity of knowledge” about Iran’s programme.
“This would be a fatal blow” to negotiations over Iran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers, Grossi said. “When we lose this, then it’s anybody’s guess,” he added.
There was no immediate comment from Iran on Grossi’s remarks.
Grossi said that would leave “40 something” cameras still in Iran. The sites that would see cameras removed include its underground Natanz nuclear enrichment facility, as well as its facility in Isfahan, Grossi said.
“We are in a very tense situation with the negotiations over the [nuclear deal] at a low ebb,” Grossi added. “Now we are adding this to the picture; as you can see it’s not a very nice one.”
On Wednesday, Iran said it shut off two devices the IAEA uses to monitor enrichment at Natanz, in anticipation of the watchdog’s adoption of the Western-drafted censure motion.