Iran Taking Down Most of the Cameras Monitoring Their Nuclear Activity

You could not trust Iran when former President Obama and former Vice President Biden negotiated with them back in 2015, and you still can’t trust them in 2022. The U.N. atomic watchdog agency said this week that Iran has begun taking down 27 cameras that were placed to monitor its nuclear activity. 

This move by the Islamic State will keep International inspectors from seeing a clear picture of the work Iran is doing with uranium enrichment.

Unless Biden continues to make the wrong move, this should be the death blow to renewed efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal that was created to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Rafael Mariano Grossi, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said it was a “fatal blow” for Iran at a recent news conference. 

Grossi also said that Iran’s move would pose a serious challenge to the U.N.’s ability to work there. Iran informed the IAEA of their plans in a “succinct” statement. 

Iran made it clear that they plan to remove most of the cameras that were installed to monitor their work as a part of the 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and other world powers. 

Grossi said that without the cameras in place, Iran can divert centrifuges that are used for uranium enrichment to unknown locations. 

Iran made these moves even after the IAEA’s board of governors voted to censure the nation because they did not provide “credible” explanations about where they got nuclear material at three undeclared sites.

The resolution from the 35-member board had overwhelming support with only Russia and China opposing it. 

Before Iran was censured, they communicated that they had turned off two U.N. cameras and threatened to take even more measures. They also accused the IAEA of not recognizing Tehran’s “goodwill” in how they dealt with the agency. 

Antony Blinken, the U.S. Secretary of State, said that Iran should have given more cooperation with the IAEA after the vote from their board. He said instead they threatened more nuclear provocations and that there would be less transparency. 

Blinken admitted that what has taken place will complicate the negotiation process to restore the 2015 deal. 

“The only outcome of such a path will be a deepening nuclear crisis and further economic and political isolation for Iran. We continue to press Iran to choose diplomacy and de-escalation instead,” he said.

Iran said that the censure from the IAEA board was a “political, incorrect and unconstructive action,” according to a foreign ministry statement.

Grossi said that just this week Iran was close to having enough enriched uranium to produce an atomic bomb. 

Laura Colgate, the U.S. ambassador to the IAEA agency, said that the U.S. was not seeking to raise tensions, but the Biden administration had an obligation to hold Tehran accountable “We are not taking this action to escalate a confrontation for political purposes. We seek no such escalation. The Director General’s report to this Board was crystal clear about the status of the outstanding issues. Based on that report, it is also clear that Iran’s insufficient cooperation — and the longstanding deficit in verification assurance this has created — requires us all to act,” she said.

The nations of Britain, France, and Germany said that Tehran was keeping the IAEA inspectors from doing the work to verify if Iran’s acting with nuclear power was for peaceful purposes. They also said that Iran’s failure to cooperate was challenging to the nonproliferation regime. 

In 2018, former President Donald Trump withdrew America from the 2015 agreement and reimposed sanctions on Iran. But since Biden took over the White House, work has been done to revive the old deal. 

Somebody in the president’s administration needs to remember the adage, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on Biden.”