Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:57PM
IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano speaks at the New Year reception in Vienna on January 26, 2017. (Photo by IAEA.org)
IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano speaks at the New Year reception in Vienna on January 26, 2017. (Photo by IAEA.org)

All signatories to the landmark 2015 agreement over Iran's nuclear program must remain committed to their obligations under the deal, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says.

“The commitment of all parties to the agreement remains essential,” IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said at the New Year reception in the Austrian capital of Vienna on Thursday.

He added that the IAEA would continue to use its verification expertise to help make the nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), “sustainable.”

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

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

Amano further said the IAEA has been verifying and monitoring Iran’s implementation of its obligations under the JCPOA since January 2016.

He added that the world is witnessing changes in many areas related to the nuclear science and technology.

“Agreement on the JCPOA changed the course on Iran from confrontation to cooperation,” the IAEA chief pointed out.

Ali Akbar Salehi (L), the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), and IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano answer to reporters’ questions at a joint press conference in Tehran, December 18, 2016. (Photo by IRNA)

Since the implementation of the JCPOA, the IAEA has repeatedly confirmed Iran’s compliance to its obligations under the nuclear agreement in several reports.

In his visit to Tehran on December 18, 2016, Amano expressed satisfaction with Iran’s compliance with its commitments.

Although Washington’s partners in the P5+1 have thrown their weight behind the JCPOA, US President Donald Trump, during his presidential campaign, expressed harsh criticism of the deal.

He denounced the JCPOA as “the worst accord ever” and “one of the dumbest” ones he has come across.

Iran has repeatedly announced that the United States cannot unilaterally decide to abrogate the JCPOA as it is an “international agreement,” and not a bilateral one between Tehran and Washington.

In comments marking the first anniversary of the JCPOA’s implementation, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini praised the accord and urged all signatories to abide by it. The top EU diplomat called the accord a diplomatic milestone, which worked to benefit all sides.