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January 2018, No. 86


On Agenda

IAEA Chief Reaffirms Iran’s Adherence to JCPOA


President Rouhani told Amano that the Islamic Republic sought to boost long-term cooperation with the IAEA and stressed the importance of maintaining the independence and impartiality of the UN nuclear agency.


The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has once again reiterated Iran’s adherence to the 2015 nuclear agreement with the P5+1 group of countries, stressing that UN inspectors are facing no problems in their verification efforts.

“The IAEA can state that such nuclear-related commitments are being implemented,” the IAEA chief, Yukiya Amano, told a news conference in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, on October 30, a day after he met with senior Iranian officials in Tehran.

“I requested that Iran ... fully implement the nuclear-related commitments. This [was] the main thrust of the meeting in Iran... Regarding the activities of our inspectors, they are discharging their responsibility without problem,” Amano, whose inspectors are tasked with monitoring compliance with the JCPOA, said.

The IAEA chief made a day-long visit to Tehran and held talks with President Hassan Rouhani, Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Ali Akbar Salehi, and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Amano and Salehi also attended a joint press conference.

The Iranian President told Amano that the Islamic Republic sought to boost long-term cooperation with the IAEA and stressed the importance of maintaining the independence and impartiality of the UN nuclear agency.

Rouhani also emphasized the significance of showing respect for international regulations and treaties, saying Iran had repeatedly announced that it would not be the first country to walk away from the landmark nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries more than two years ago.

“We will remain committed to the JCPOA as long as we are able to enjoy the benefits mentioned in it,” he reiterated.

Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China – plus Germany signed the nuclear agreement on July 14, 2015 and started implementing it on January 16, 2016.

Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Amano said he had told Iranian officials that the JCPOA was a “significant gain for verification.”

US President Donald Trump delivered an anti-Iran speech on October 13, in which he said he would not continue to certify Iran’s compliance with the terms of the JCPOA, reached under his predecessor Barack Obama, and warned that he might ultimately terminate the agreement.

The US Congress now has less than 60 days to decide whether to reimpose economic sanctions on Tehran that were lifted under the nuclear accord.

The other parties to the accord -- Britain, Germany, France, Russia, China and the European Union -- have all reaffirmed their commitment to it and urged the United States not to back out.

The IAEA is the only official institution in charge of verifying Iranian compliance and it has repeatedly verified Iran’s adherence to its contractual obligations.

‘Iran Military Sites Inspection Case Closed Forever’

Meanwhile, the AEOI’s spokesman announced that the case of the inspection of Iran’s military sites has been closed forever.

Speaking on the day (Oct. 29) Amano arrived in Tehran, Behrouz Kamalvandi said the issue of inspecting Iran’s military sites has been included neither in the multilateral 2015 nuclear agreement (JCPOA), nor in the Additional Protocol and the Safeguards Agreement.

“What is important is that the IAEA can request [the inspection of] and have access to nuclear facilities,” he added.

Kamalvandi emphasized that Iran was carrying out its nuclear activities in sites declared to the UN nuclear agency, saying, “There is no reason for them to have access to other places, whether military or non-military sites.”

He urged the IAEA to fulfill its duties in a “professional and independent” way without bowing to any “political pressure.”

Speaking at a news conference in New York on August 25, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley called on the IAEA to request access to Iranian military sites, in what is regarded as an attempt by Washington to undermine the JCPOA, which is a multilateral nuclear deal.

Kamalvandi added that Iran would continue to deliver on its commitments under the nuclear accord as long as other sides fully implemented their undertakings.

“We expect the opposite sides, the IAEA, the European Union and different countries to live up to their commitments as well,” the Iranian nuclear official said.

 

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  January 2018
No. 86