United Nations finds Iran complying with nuke deal

"[Haley] conveyed that the IAEA will need to continue to robustly exercise its authorities to verify Iran's declaration and monitor the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, including access to undeclared and military-affiliated sites where the agency has questions about nuclear-related activities", the U.S. official said, adding, "We have full confidence in the agency and its highly skilled and professional inspectors".

The UN watchdog monitoring Iran's nuclear activities confirmed that the country is fully in compliance with its 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers, even as Donald Trump, who labelled it "the worst deal ever", threatens to scrap it.

Verification of the agreement by the International Atomic Energy Agency, published Thursday in a quarterly report, may come as a surprise to the US administration.

At the same time, International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano's report said that the agency continues to hunt for "undeclared nuclear material and activities".

The announcement comes in response to recent meetings between IAEA officials and the USA ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, who echoed White House concerns that Iran may be cheating on the deal by continuing nuclear production in off-limits military sights.

But while the previous United States administration showed flexibility in its pursuit of a nuclear understanding with Iran, the Trump presidency is unlikely to follow suit as it looks for possible reasons to abrogate the pact.

"We're not going to visit a military site like Parchin just to send a political signal", an IAEA official said.

The U.S. State Department said in a statement that Washington has "full confidence in the agency and its highly skilled and professional inspectors". In July he told the Wall Street Journal he "would be surprised if they were in compliance".

A second IAEA official also said, "We just don't want to give them an excuse to" bring down the accord.

"It's up to the IAEA to determine what they need to inspect, and where and when, to acquire the information they need to monitor and verify compliance with Section T, and I believe they have already developed an approach for doing so", Mr Kimball said. Trump has been a vocal opponent of the deal, which he and his conservative supporters criticize as being too soft on Iran.

A U.S. pullout could effectively kill the agreement, and lead Iran to quickly ramp up programs that could be used to make weapons.

Under the accord, Iran could not get sanctions relief until the IAEA was satisfied Tehran had answered outstanding questions about the so-called "possible military dimensions" of its past nuclear research.

But critics see the push for further inspections as an attempt to politicize the agency's work and potentially force Iran to withdraw from the deal.

The latest IAEA report once again confirms that Iran has remained loyal to its commitments as per the 2015 deal with world powers.

As well as the United States the hard-fought agreement also includes China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany.

  • Tracy Klein