The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) says the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has failed to fulfill its duties toward Iran and has withheld the country the technical assistance that it is bound by its statute to provide for member states.
Mohammad Eslami made the remarks in a Monday meeting with a senior cleric in the central city of Isfahan, saying, “We are faced with the Devil and arrogance in the world,” Fars news agency reported.
Iran’s nuclear chief added, “The statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency has stipulated that one of the main duties of the Agency is to assist all countries and facilitate their peaceful use of the nuclear industry.”
“However, such issues are totally reverse when it comes to our country and this Agency does not help us,” Eslami added.
Iran’s nuclear chief noted that the AEOI intends to put a cap on the hue and cry that surrounds Iran’s nuclear program and replace it with calm, progress and development, so that “our people and country would see its results as such advances help promote our national power.”
Eslami’s remarks came after Director General of the IAEA Rafael Mariano Grossi addressed a meeting of the Agency’s Board of Governors earlier the same day, claiming that since February 22, 2021, when Iran decided to stop voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and curtail the IAEA’s snap inspections of its nuclear facilities, the Agency’s activities in the country “have been seriously undermined.”
The IAEA chief added that “Iran’s failure to respond to the Agency’s requests for access to its monitoring equipment was seriously compromising the Agency’s technical capability to maintain continuity of knowledge, which is necessary for the Agency to resume its verification and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear-related commitments in the future.”
Grossi asked Iran to fulfill its obligations “under the Subsidiary Arrangements to its Safeguards Agreement.”
Tehran has said time and again that its obligations are only relevant under the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), if other signatories do their share to get anti-Iran sanctions removed. The sanctions, which had been lifted by the JCPOA, were reimposed on Iran after the US administration, under former President Donald Trump, illegally withdrew from the accord in 2018.
Iran remained fully compliant with the JCPOA for an entire year, waiting for the co-signatories to fulfill their end of the bargain by offsetting the impacts of American bans on the Iranian economy.
But as the European parties failed to do so, the Islamic Republic moved in May 2019 to suspend its JCPOA commitments under Articles 26 and 36 of the deal covering Tehran’s legal rights.
Iran took five steps in scaling back its obligations, among them abandoning operational limitations on its nuclear industry, including with regard to the capacity and level of uranium enrichment.
All those measures were adopted after informing the IAEA beforehand, with the Agency's inspectors present on the ground in Iran.
IAEA chief: Urgent matters can be addressed through “productive” dialogue with new Iranian govt.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Grossi expressed hope that “through a direct, cooperative and productive dialogue with the new Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran these urgent matters can be addressed.”
Iran on Sunday agreed to allow the UN nuclear watchdog to service surveillance equipment installed at Iranian nuclear sites following talks with the IAEA head in Tehran, Iran's permanent ambassador to international organizations in Vienna said.
Kazem Gharibabadi made the remarks in a string of tweets, citing a joint statement issued by Iran and the IAEA following talks between Grossi and the AEOI head.
“IAEA’s inspectors are permitted to service the identified equipment and replace their storage media, which will be kept under the joint IAEA and AEOI seals in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The way and the timing are agreed by the two sides,” the statement said.
During his Monday address, Grossi confirmed that “Agency inspectors will service Agency monitoring and surveillance equipment and replace the storage media, which will be kept in Iran under seals of the Agency and the AEOI.”
Back in February, Iran and the IAEA reached a technical understanding under which Tehran agreed to keep the camera recordings from its nuclear sites for three months as a goodwill gesture in support of diplomacy, waiting to see whether the other parties to the 2015 nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), would bring the US back into full compliance with the deal.
The agreement came shortly after Iran decided to stop its voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) that allowed the IAEA to carry out short-notice inspections in Iran, denying the agency's inspectors access to the country’s nuclear facilities beyond the Safeguards Agreement.
Meanwhile, Grossi also noted that he will meet with Iran’s nuclear chief again on the sidelines of the forthcoming IAEA General Conference next week and will visit “Tehran in the near future to hold high-level consultations with senior Iranian officials with the aim of enhancing cooperation between Iran and the Agency in different fields, and to discuss current issues of mutual interest.”
Grossi says Iranian officials made no promises during his visit
Speaking to reporters before the start of the Agency’s Board of Governors meeting, Grossi said during his latest visit to Tehran, the Iranian officials made no promises, but they understand that there are open nuclear issues that need to be addressed.
“"So, I did not get any promises. One thing I got is the agreement that this is something that needs to be done and this is why I hope to be very soon in Tehran to have this type of conversation which is badly needed," he said.
Grossi noted, “We are satisfied that the Iranian side has indicated that at the technical level they're going to be exchanging information with our teams so that we can perform all the activities that need to be performed."
The IAEA chief added, “The new head of the AEOI, Mr. Eslami, will be coming to Vienna next week and we are going to meet on that occasion. And as agreed in Tehran, I'm going to return to Tehran very soon. The exact date must still be (finalized) but the idea is that it's quite soon."
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