UN nuclear watchdog's chief inspector resigns


Tero Varjoranta was responsible for the Iran nuclear deal program since 2013, the watchdog said in a statement, without giving a reason for the resignation.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced the resignation of its chief inspector Tero Varjoranta on Saturday, The Associated Press reports.

"As requested by the United Nations Security Council and authorized by the IAEA Board of Governors in 2015, the IAEA is verifying and monitoring Iran's implementation of its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA", he added.

The IAEA has said repeatedly that according to the Agency's inspectors on the ground in Iran, no violations of the agreement had taken place, and there has been no evidence of any activity relating to any "nuclear explosive device", after 2009.

A permanent replacement will be appointed as soon as possible, the IAEA spokesperson said.

The deal, known officially as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), required Iran to open any site to the IAEA within 24 days at most.

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Since the accord was reached in 2015, the IAEA has carried out hundreds of inspections inside Iran.

The Vienna-based nuclear company says it has no indications Iran is in breach of the accord.

The agency also points to the some 2,000 tamper-proof seals attached to nuclear material and equipment and to the "hundreds of thousands of images captured daily by our sophisticated surveillance cameras", the number of which has nearly doubled since 2013.

Trump withdrew the U.S. from the accord Tuesday, despite warnings from Germany, France and Russian Federation - all signatories - that his action could further destabilize the Middle East.

Under the JCPOA deal, the USA and other world powers agreed to lift some economic sanctions imposed on Iran in return for the latter agreeing to rein in its nuclear program.