UN nuclear watchdog's inspections chief quits after US withdrawal from Iran deal

The agency did not give any reason for the sudden resignation of the inspector.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced the resignation of its chief inspector Tero Varjoranta on Saturday, The Associated Press reports. No reason was given by the IAEA for his departure.

The IAEA says that thanks to access afforded under the accord, inspection work has doubled since 2013, with its inspectors now spending 3,000 man-days per year on the ground in Iran last year.

"Mr Tero Varjoranta has resigned effective 11 May 2018", the IAEA announced. The Director-General has appointed Mr. Massimo Aparo, acting Director of the office for verification in Iran, acting Deputy Director General and head of safeguards Department.

Nuclear verification under the deal had been the "most robust" in the world, according to the IAEA, involving hundreds of inspections inside Iran and continuous camera surveillance of 2,000 tamper-proof seals.

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"As of today, the IAEA can confirm that the nuclear-related commitments are being implemented by Iran", IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said in a statement.

The JCPOA - reached by Iran, China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the USA and the European Union - sets out rigorous mechanisms for monitoring restrictions placed on Iran's nuclear programme, while paving the way for the lifting UN sanctions against the country.

Trump has pulled out of the 2015 pact and reinstated USA sanctions because he does not believe that the agreement prevents Iran from getting atomic weapons.

Under the JCPOA deal, the USA and other world powers agreed to lift some economic sanctions imposed on Iran in return for the latter agreeing to rein in its nuclear program.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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