Iran warns of 'illegal' US pressure on IAEA after Haley's visit to Vienna

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley (2nd from R) meets with the International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano in Vienna, Austria, August 23, 2017.

Iran has warned about the consequences of any "illegal" pressure on the UN nuclear agency after US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley visited Vienna for a possible review of the nuclear agreement with Tehran. 

Iran's permanent mission to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued the warning in a statement on Thursday, a day after Haley met IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano in the Austrian capital. 

The statement said the objectives and the results of Haley’s trip to Vienna “contradict” the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and Resolution 2231, which was adopted on July 20, 2015 to endorse the nuclear deal.

The Islamic Republic, it said, is fully aware of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the Additional Protocol and the JCPOA, and remains committed to their terms.

However, Iran will not allow a specific country to take advantage of the rules for its own political objectives, the statement added.

Iran, the statement said, expects the IAEA head and its inspectors to perform their tasks regarding the JCPOA with professionalism and honesty. 

Prior to her trip to Vienna, Haley claimed that the visit was a fact-finding mission and part of President Donald Trump's review of the nuclear deal with Tehran.

Washington wants to know if the IAEA plans to inspect Iranian military sites during its verification of Tehran’s compliance with the JCPOA.

The IAEA monitors the technical aspects of the nuclear agreement, which was inked between Iran and the P5+1 countries — namely the US, Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany — in July 2015 and took effect in January 2016.

Under the deal, limits were put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for the removal of all nuclear-related bans imposed on the Islamic Republic, but the JCPOA does not oblige Iran to open its military sites to inspection.

The IAEA has invariably certified Iran’s commitment to its obligations under the accord but the Trump administration, which took over in January 2017, one year after the JCPOA came into force, has taken a hostile stance toward the deal, repeatedly threatening to tear it up.

Earlier, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote in a letter to the IAEA that Haley's visit undermined "the independence and credibility" of the inspectors and warned the IAEA not to share extra information about the regime's nuclear program.

The trip is aimed at destroying the nuclear deal by raising doubts about the accord’s stability and sustainability, Zarif wrote.

"Any contribution to the destructive approach of the US Administration to undermine ‘successful implementation' of the [nuclear deal], or sharing any information on Iran and its nuclear activities, which is not included in regular updates that Director General provides to the IAEA Board of Governors, with any third party including the US government's envoy will not be in conformity with the above-mentioned provision," he added. 

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