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Iran says US must end its practice of breaking international law

Kazem Gharibabadi, the Iranian ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, attends a meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors in Vienna on September 12, 2018.

The Iranian ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says Tehran expects the international community to force the US to put an end to its practice of violating international rights.

“It is expected that the international community does not allow the US to continue with its illegal and unilateral measures and to stop the country’s practice of violating international rights,” Kazem Gharibabadi said.

He made the remarks while speaking at the September meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors on Wednesday.

He said that the latest report of the IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano that confirmed Iran’s compliance with its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers attested to “transparency” of the country’s nuclear program.  

A general view of the IAEA Board of Governors before its session in Vienna on September 12, 2018. 

“While Iran has been cooperating with the IAEA effectively and based on goodwill, unfortunately we have not fully benefitted from the deal (known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) as we should have,” he added.

The envoy said “the US’s unilateral and illegal exit from the nuclear deal and its re-imposition of unilateral and transnational sanctions that had been lifted after the JCPOA conclusion are the blatant violations of UN Security Council Resolution 2231 and the JCPOA … in defiance of the international community.”   

In addition to violating the JCPOA, Gharibabadi also hit out at the US for threatening other countries to either bow to Washington’s policies or face punitive measures.

He said the JCPOA could survive if all parties to the deal fully and sincerely fulfilled their commitments, stressing “the remaining members of the deal need to take practical and appropriate measures to guarantee Iran benefits from the deal.”

“Security Council Resolution 2231 also urges all UN members and regional and international organizations to adopt measures that are necessary to help implement the nuclear deal and to refrain from taking measures that undermine the implementation of their obligations under the JCPOA,” he said.

By breaching its international commitments and taking illegal and unilateral measures, the US government not only tarnishes the credibility of the Security Council but also undermines its own image in the world, he concluded.

Following the Board of Governors meeting, the Iranian envoy also attended a press conference, during which he once again stressed the commitment of all parties to the JCPOA.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has always expressed loud and clear that if the deal is to survive, Iran should also be benefited from the deal,” he said, adding, "It would be a great shame if the achievement of twelve years of multilateral diplomacy would be shattered by the irresponsible behavior of just one state,” refereeing to the US’s unilateral move in May to abandon the JCPOA.

US President Donald Trump withdrew Washington in May from the landmark Iran nuclear agreement, reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries in 2015, and decided to re-impose unilateral sanctions against Tehran.

The United Nations, the European Union, which coordinated the talks leading to the deal, and the other signatories to the JCPOA had all warned Washington against the withdrawal.

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

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has warned that Iran will leave the nuclear deal if it fails to serve its interests.

"The JCPOA (the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) is a means, not the goal, and if we come to this conclusion that it cannot serve [our] national interests, we will leave it," the Leader said in a meeting with President Hassan Rouhani and members of his cabinet in Tehran last week.

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