The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog says Iran is honoring its commitments under the nuclear agreement it reached with world powers in 2015 a day after US President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the landmark deal in defiance of international warnings.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued a statement on Wednesday, reiterating that Iran is in full compliance with the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a document that came out of years of negotiations between Iran on one the side and six world powers, namely the US, Russia, China, Germany, France, Britain, on the other, in July 2015.
“As of today, the IAEA can confirm that the nuclear-related commitments are being implemented by Iran,” said a statement by Yukiya Amano, director general of the Agency, which is tasked with monitoring the technical aspect of the JCPOA’s implementation.
The announcement came hours after Trump officially declared that his country is pulling out of the JCPOA, saying Washington will not only reinstate the anti-Iran sanctions that were lifted as part of the deal, but will also “be instituting the highest level of economic” bans against the Islamic Republic.
Trump made no mention in his Tuesday announcement about any act by Iran that could be interpreted as a violation of the JCPOA’s terms. He only lashed out at the deal, saying it had “weak” limits on Tehran’s nuclear program.
However, the IAEA statement contradicted Trump’s claim and said, “Iran is subject to the world’s most robust nuclear verification regime under the JCPOA, which is a significant verification gain.”
Amano had said in March that the JCPOA had enabled the body’s inspectors to closely monitor Iran’s nuclear activities.
“Our inspection work has doubled since 2013. IAEA inspectors now spend 3,000 calendar days per year on the ground in Iran,” said Amano back then, adding that JCPOA’s failure “would be a great loss for nuclear verification and for multilateralism.”
Trump’s controversial announcement came despite recurrent calls from other parties to the JCPOA as well as the entire international community for the US to keep its side of the accord, which has been hailed by the world community as a victory for international diplomacy and teamwork.
Germany, Britain and France as well as the European Union have announced that they would remain in the agreement, insisting that the JCPOA is functioning properly.
The IAEA statement went on to say that it will continue to monitor Iran’s commitment to the deal despite US withdrawal from the agreement, which has been endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231.
“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,” said the IAEA statement.
The JCPOA went into effect in January 2016. The IAEA has since then confirmed Iran’s full compliance in numerous quarterly reports.
Inside Iran, senior officials have joined voices to condemn Trump’s attack against the JCPOA.
President Hassan Rouhani has said Iran will for now stay in the nuclear deal, and that the Foreign Ministry will be negotiating with the European countries, Russia, and China in the weeks to come before making any decision about the future of the deal.
“I have instructed the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization to take the necessary measures for future actions so that, if necessary, we can resume industrial enrichment without limit,” President Rouhani said.