The United Nations’ atomic watchdog said Thursday that Iran continues to honor the terms of a 2015 nuclear deal with major powers, months after the sudden withdrawal of the United States from the accord.
The International Atomic Energy Agency said in a confidential quarterly report, reviewed by multiple news agencies including Reuters and Associated Press, that Iran was adhering to the main requirements of the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, including cooperating with IAEA inspectors and limiting its stockpiles of enriched uranium and other key nuclear materials.
“Timely and proactive cooperation by Iran in providing such access facilitates implementation of the additional protocol and enhances confidence,” the report said, according to AP.
It’s unclear what impact the new report will have on the landmark nuclear deal, whose future has been in peril since President Donald Trump’s decision in May to pull the United States out of the agreement.
Though the accord’s remaining signatories ― Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia ― have since reaffirmed their commitment to the deal and have worked to keep it alive, experts have expressed doubt that the agreement can survive given the reimposition of U.S. sanctions on Iran, according to Reuters.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote in a Thursday tweet that abiding by the nuclear agreement was “not Iran’s only option.”
A day earlier, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Tehran could not count on Europe to save the deal and suggested Iran may abandon it.
Reacting to the IAEA report, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Thursday that he “welcomed the fact that Iran continues to comply with the 2015 accord and said European officials will continue working on ways of supporting commerce,” reported the Wall Street Journal.
Le Drian stressed, however, that Tehran “can’t escape discussions and negotiations on three other big subjects which worry us,” including its future nuclear plans, its arsenal of ballistic missiles and its apparent ambition to be a regional “hegemon.”