Amano raps former patterns of engagement with Tehran

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Yukiya Amano is pictured during an interview. (photos by AFP)

The nuclear agreement between Iran and the world powers demonstrates the fact that “stonewalling didn’t work” against Tehran, says the head of the United Nations nuclear agency.

Under the last year’s seven-nation deal, Iran agreed to restrict certain aspects of its nuclear energy activities in return for the removal of sanctions.

Yukiya Amano, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, made the remarks in an interview with the Washington Post Friday.

Less detailed report on Iran

The director general’s comments followed an earlier report by the agency verifying Iran had remained committed to the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“We are not asked to verify attitude. We are asked to verify facts,” said Amano, who visited Iran in January.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (R) shakes hands with IAEA chief Yukiya Amano during a meeting in Tehran on January 18, 2016.

In response to why the latest report contained less detail than the ones issued prior to the JCPOA, Amano said it had been issued based on the new rules ever since the United Nations lifted its bans on Tehran, further stressing Tehran’s commitment along with nuclear enrichment.

“If Iran were violating the UN Security Council resolutions, then I’d have a reason to disclose that and member states would have the right to know,” he said. “But those resolutions are gone. Iran … is allowed to conduct enrichment-related activities within certain limits, and they are doing that.”

Staying at IAEA’s helm

Amano, who is apparently seeking a third term as the agency’s head, warned, however, that the deal “is still fragile” hinting at his role at the helm as necessary for the agreement to remain “sustainable.”

“Reaching an agreement was very important, but making it sustainable requires a lot of effort,” he said. “It is huge work. Our inspectors are stretched and they are working very hard.”

The nuclear agreement between US, UK, Russia, China, France, and Germany on July 14, 2015 put an end to nearly a decade of on-and-off intensive talks over Tehran’s nuclear program.

“For Iran, the job is only half done,” Amano said. “We need to make it sustainable."

In its latest report dated May 27, 2016, the IAEA asserted that since Implementation Day on January 16, “the Agency has verified and monitored Iran’s implementation of its nuclear-related commitments.”

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