The spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) says the latest agreements reached between Tehran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) during a visit by the agency's head comply with the strategic law passed by the Iranian parliament.
Behrouz Kamalvandi made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Iran's official IRNA news agency, which was published early Sunday.
Issuing a statement on Saturday, Iran and the IAEA affirmed they had agreed to take steps to enhance cooperation and expedite the resolution of outstanding safeguards issues between the two sides.
The statement was released at the end of a two-day visit to Iran by IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi, during which he met with Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and head of the AEOI Mohammad Eslami.
The two sides agreed that bilateral interactions will be carried out in a spirit of collaboration, with Iran expressing readiness to continue its cooperation and provide further information to the agency to address the outstanding safeguards issues.
Asked whether the agreements conformed to a law approved by the Iranian parliament in December 2020 to accelerate the development of Iran's peaceful nuclear program, Kamalvandi said, “These agreements [with the IAEA] are in no way in contravention to the parliament’s strategic law and will be followed up on in total conformity with this law.”
The law, dubbed the Strategic Action Plan to Counter Sanctions was adopted by Iranian lawmakers to counter sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States and its Western allies, and promote the country’s peaceful nuclear program.
Under the parliament's law, the Iranian administration is required to restrict the IAEA's inspections and accelerate the development of the country’s nuclear program beyond the limits set under the 2015 nuclear agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), such as ending the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
The AEOI’s spokesman rejected allegations that Iran has agreed to give the agency access to certain people, saying, “During the two days that Mr. Grossi and his accompanying delegation were in Iran, no discussion was made of access to people and no text has been drawn up on this issue.”
“Of course, even if such a request had been made, it would have been definitely turned down [by Iran],” he emphasized.
Kamalvandi also explained about a 50-percent increase in the IAEA's inspections of Iran's nuclear sites, saying, “Since [uranium] enrichment to 60-percent purity level had been started for the first time at Fordow [nuclear] facility, the number of inspections had to increase in line with the Safeguards [Agreement between Iran and the agency].”
“Basically, when the enrichment level increases or more sensitive materials are introduced into a facility, the number of inspections increases based on a mutual agreement between the two sides,” he added.
Therefore, the spokesman said, the number of Fordow inspections, which previously stood at eight, was increased to 11 in view of the increased level of enrichment there.
The AEOI spokesman also rejected allegations about an agreement with the agency on access to “three alleged locations” as many times as the agency demanded, saying, “No discussion was made about the frequency of [the IAEA's] access to three alleged locations.”
“In view of the previous access to these locations, more extensive access [to them] does not seem to be necessary, and the agency has made no request [in this regard] so far,” he said.
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