Iran Threatens to Throw Nuclear Inspectors Out of Country
Iran said it will throw inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency out of the country unless sanctions against the Islamic Republic are lifted.
The sanctions must be lifted by Feb. 21, according to a law passed in November that requires the government to remove IAEA inspectors and to increase uranium enrichment. Iran most recently breached the 2015 nuclear deal that it signed with the world powers by starting to enrich uranium to 20%. The United States left the agreement in 2018 and snapped back sanctions on Iran. President-elect Joe Biden has said he would rejoin the deal.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned the threat, saying in a statement on Saturday: “Once again the Iranian regime is using its nuclear program to extort the international community and threaten regional security.” He added that the Iranian actions not only violate the nuclear deal, but also the decades-old international nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. “Every nation, not only the United States, will attach great importance to Iran’s compliance with these obligations. Nuclear brinksmanship will not strengthen Iran’s position, but instead lead to further isolation and pressure,” Pompeo also said.
Also on Saturday, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) staged a naval parade in the Arabian Gulf. The parade, a show of naval force, marked the fifth anniversary of the seizure of two US Navy boats and 10 crew members near Farsi island. A day earlier, the IRGC unveiled on state television a new underground missile base, located along the Persian Gulf coast. Clips of the new base were shown on state television. The exact location of the base was not announced.