Iran Blocks International Inspectors From Nuclear Sites

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September 7, 2021

Iran is blocking international arms control inspectors from visiting its nuclear reactor sites, testing the Biden administration as talks to revive the Iran nuclear deal flounder.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, which is tasked with monitoring Iran’s nuclear program, has been barred from inspecting Iran's nuclear sites, according to confidential reports from the organization obtained by the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.

"Iran has still not provided the necessary explanations for the presence of the nuclear material particles," one of the reports reads. "The Director General remains deeply concerned that nuclear material has been present at undeclared locations in Iran and that the current locations of this nuclear material are not known to the Agency."

Iranian scientists are enriching uranium—a process vital to building nuclear weapons—at an alarming rate. Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz said in August that Iran is just over two months away from obtaining enough enriched uranium to build a nuclear weapon, while Iran’s new hardline prime minister Ebrahim Raisi has stalled talks in Vienna over renegotiation of the Iran deal.

Iranian and Western diplomats have participated in six rounds of talks, and Raisi has given no indication of when Tehran may return to the table after the last official talks concluded in June.

The Biden administration remains committed to renegotiating the controversial nuclear agreement and has appointed senior personnel that helped craft the original deal. The Washington Free Beacon reported in August that the Biden administration nominated an official to a top nuclear nonproliferation post who claimed Iran was not pursuing nuclear weapons, contrary to mounting evidence.