Iran May Review IAEA Cooperation if European Pressure Mounts


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The influential speaker of Iran's parliament said on Sunday that, if European powers "for any reason" take an "unfair" approach to the dispute mechanism in the 4-year-old nuclear deal that has been in the balance since a U.S. pullout in 2018, Tehran will "seriously reconsider" its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

"What the three European countries did regarding Iran's nuclear unfortunate," the speaker, Ali Larijani, who is also a former chief nuclear negotiator for Tehran, was quoted as saying by state TV.

Germany, Britain, and France announced last week that they had triggered the dispute mechanism in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which exchanged curbs on Iran's nuclear program for relief from international sanctions.

"We clearly announce that if Europe, for any reason, uses Article 37 of the nuclear agreement unfairly, then Iran will make a serious decision regarding cooperation with the agency," Larijani said, according to the AFP news agency.

The European states - signatories of the JCPOA along with China, Russia, the European Union, and, formerly, the United States - said that, while the mechanism could lead to U.N. sanctions against Iran, they were not joining Washington's yearlong "maximum pressure" campaign designed to change Tehran's behavior.

Since the U.S. withdrawal from the deal, Iran has breached its main limitations, exceeding the stockpiles of heavy water and uranium allowed, the number and types of centrifuges it can operate to enrich uranium, and the purity of uranium.