Rouhani says Iran may block UN inspectors if it faces a ‘new situation’

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks at a news conference on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. (File photo: Reuters)

Iran’s president said Monday that Tehran might reconsider providing U.N. inspectors with access to Iran’s nuclear facilities if the country were confronted with “a new situation,” the official IRNA news agency reported.

Hassan Rouhani’s remarks came during a meeting with Josep Borrell, the European Union’s new foreign affairs chief, who was on his first visit to Iran since taking office.

The visit is seen as the latest move by the EU to save Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers. The agreement hangs on a single thread, one that permits international inspection of its atomic sites, and is already threatened.

“The trend of inspections that has been carried out until today will continue, unless we face a new situation,” Rouhani was quoted by IRNA as saying. He did not elaborate.

Tensions between Iran and the US have steadily risen since President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear agreement and re-imposed sanctions on Iran in 2018. Tehran has responded by gradually rolling back its commitment to the deal in hopes of pressuring Europe into finding a way for Tehran to sell its crude oil abroad despite the American sanctions.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:05 - GMT 07:05