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Iran Removes Two IAEA Surveillance Cameras From Nuclear Facility

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

An Iranian flag flutters in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna, Austria September 9, 2019. Photo: REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/

Iran removed two surveillance cameras of the International Atomic Energy Agency from one of its nuclear facilities on Wednesday, state television reported, a move that is likely to raise tensions with the UN nuclear watchdog.

“So far, the IAEA has not only been ungrateful for Iran’s extensive cooperation but has also considered it as a duty. From today, relevant authorities have ordered that surveillance cameras of the Online Enrichment Monitor (OLEM) be shut down,” state TV said.

“Iran cannot be cooperative while the IAEA displays unreasonable behavior. We hope the agency will come to its senses and respond with cooperation with Iran,” Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization spokesperson Behrouz Kamalvandi told state TV.

The United States, Britain, Germany and France angered Iran by submitting to the IAEA’s governing board a draft resolution criticizing Iran for not fully answering the watchdog’s questions on uranium traces at undeclared sites.

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The resolution text, seen by Reuters and little changed from a draft circulated last week, will be debated and voted on at this week’s quarterly meeting of the IAEA’s 35-nation Board of Governors.

Several diplomats said the resolution was likely to pass easily despite Iranian warnings of retaliation and consequences that could further undermine already stalled talks on rescuing Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. Iran’s ally Russia, one of the powers, opposes such a resolution.

The Vienna-based IAEA declined to comment.

Since a US walkout from the nuclear deal in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump and the reimposition of US sanctions against Iran, Tehran has stepped up uranium enrichment, a process that could yield fuel for atomic bombs. Iran said its nuclear designs are wholly peaceful.

The aim of the struggling talks is to bring both Iran and the United States back into full compliance with the deal.

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