The United Nations agency monitoring Iran’s compliance with a landmark nuclear treaty issued a report Monday certifying that the country is keeping its end of the deal that U.S. President Donald Trump claims Tehran has violated repeatedly.
The International Atomic Energy Agency report stopped short of declaring that Iran is honoring its obligations, in keeping with its official role as an impartial monitor of the restrictions the treaty placed on Tehran’s nuclear programs.
But in reporting no violations, the quarterly review’s takeaway was that Iran was honoring its commitments to crimp uranium enrichment and other activities that can serve both civilian and military nuclear programs.
The report cited IAEA chief Yukiya Amano as stressing “the importance of the full implementation by Iran of its nuclear-related commitments” under the deal. Diplomats familiar with the work that went into the evaluation said Amano’s statement referred to a past violation on heavy water limits that Iran has since corrected.
Heavy water cools reactors that can produce plutonium used to make the core of nuclear warheads. The IAEA last year said that Tehran had slightly exceeded the limit, but later said it had returned to compliance. Monday’s report showed its heavy water supply remains under the maximum 130 metric tons (143.3 tons) allowed under the deal.
The confidential International Atomic Energy Agency report, obtained by The Associated Press, is significant considering Trump’s opposition to the 2015 deal between Iran, the United States and five other world powers.
Last month, Trump refused to certify as required by U.S. law that Iran was in compliance with the agreement. He said Iran had committed several earlier violations and was receiving disproportionate relief from international sanctions as part of the treaty.
Congress has 60 days
Trump gave Congress 60 days to review whether the U.S. should re-impose sanctions on Iran or otherwise amend the conditions for participating in the treaty. Washington stands alone among the six world powers that signed the deal in opposing it.
U.S. lawmakers could decide to snap back sanctions on Iran, keep the status quo or, as the Trump administration has suggested, amend or replace the law that compel the president to reaffirm Iran’s compliance with the deal every 90 days.
The requirements of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act could be broadened to make sanctions relief for Iran contingent on factors beyond the nuclear deal’s scope, such as Tehran halting ballistic missile testing — something Iran has said it would not do.
At the same time, the administration is pressing the other nations in the nuclear agreement — Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia — to fix what Trump considers fatal flaws, including the gradual expiration of some restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activity.