Iran has said it will expel the United Nations nuclear watchdog inspector from the country if Washington fails to lift the economic sanctions before February 21. Iran's parliament passed a law last year, requiring the government to suspend inspections of its nuclear sites by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and also increase the enrichment of uranium way above the set limit under the 2015 nuclear deal. Iran has already started enriching uranium to up to 20 per cent purity, in violation of the nuclear agreement.
An Iranian lawmaker, while speaking to the press, said that Tehran will implement the other half of the law and will definitely expel the IAEA inspector if the United States doesn't lift the sanctions by February 21. The Iranian government has said that it is willing to implement the law passed by the parliament in November this year. This comes in wake of the assassination of the country's top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.
"In December Iran’s parliament passed a law requiring expulsion of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) nuclear inspectors unless all sanctions are lifted. Today a member of the parliamentary leadership repeated that threat: all IAEA watchdog inspectors will be ejected unless sanctions are lifted. Once again the Iranian regime is using its nuclear program to extort the international community and threaten regional security," US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.
After US President Donald Trump won the elections in 2016, he withdrew the United States from the Obama-era deal, calling it "rotten". The United States left the Joint Comprehensive Plan for Action (JCPOA) in 2018 despite other members urging it not to do so. The US reimposed all sanctions on Iran, pushing Tehran to violate the deal because one of the key agreements of the agreement was that all economic embargos against the Islamic Republic would be lifted and, in return, it will cap the enrichment purity level.