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IAEA Says Iran Still In Compliance With 2015 Nuclear Deal


An Iranian research reactor located in Tehran. (file photo)

Iran has kept its nuclear program within the main limits imposed by the 2015 nuclear deal with major powers despite the U.S. pullout from the agreement, the United Nations nuclear watchdog says.

The report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on August 30 is the second quarterly report released since President Donald Trump in May announced Washington's withdrawal from the pact and reimposed sanctions against Tehran.

The deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), puts caps on the level to which Iran can enrich uranium, build its stock of enriched uranium, and other items.

In May, the IAEA rebuked Iran for dragging its feet over so-called "complementary access" inspections under the IAEA's Additional Protocol, which Iran is implementing under the deal.

In the latest report, the IAEA said its inspectors had access "to all the sites and locations in Iran which it needed to visit" within the framework of the deal.

But it added that Tehran could do more to cooperate with inspectors and thereby "enhance confidence."

Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the deal was still holding, despite the U.S. withdrawal.

He urged his fellow ministers, who met in Vienna on August 30 to discuss EU policy on Iran, to do more to protect Tehran from U.S. sanctions, calling for "permanent financial mechanisms that allow Iran to continue to trade."

On August 29, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei cast doubt on the ability of EU countries to save the agreement and said Tehran might abandon it.

In pulling out of the JCPOA, Trump said the terms were not tough enough to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and he accused Tehran of violating the "spirit" of the accord by financing Islamic militants in the region.

Iran denies it supports insurgent activity and has said its nuclear program is strictly for civilian energy purposes.

After the U.S. pullout, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other hard-liners in Iran have questioned whether Tehran should continue honoring its obligations under the landmark deal.

With reporting by Reuters and AFP
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