US, E3 misused IAEA to achieve own political objectives: Iran Foreign Ministry

The Iranian flag flutters in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency's headquarters in Vienna, Austria, June 5, 2023. (File photo by Reuters)

Iran says the United States and the three European parties to a 2015 nuclear agreement have abused the UN nuclear watchdog with the purpose of achieving their own political objectives.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kan'ani made the statement on Saturday in response to the latest claim made by Director General Rafael Grossi of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) earlier in the day against Iran.

In his statement, Grossi condemned what he called Iran's "disproportionate and unprecedented" move to withdraw the designation of the agency's several "most experienced" inspectors assigned to conduct verification activities in the country under the NPT Safeguards Agreement.

He said Iran's unilateral measure affects the IAEA's "normal planning and conduct" verification activities in the country and "openly contradicts the cooperation that should exist between the Agency and Iran."

"Unfortunately, despite Iran's positive, constructive and continuous interaction with the IAEA, the three European countries and the United States abused the Agency's Board of Governors for their own political purposes with … the aim of damaging the atmosphere of cooperation between Iran and the Agency," Kan'ani said, referring to the three European countries of France, Britain and Germany. 

He said Iran has previously warned against the consequences of such efforts to politicize the UN nuclear agency.

The spokesman reiterated that Iran made the decision in accordance with Article 9 of the agreement between the Islamic Republic and the IAEA for the application of safeguards in connection with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

Kan'ani once again urged the Western countries to stop abusing international organizations, including the IAEA, and allow such world bodies to carry out their "professional and neutral" activities under no political pressure. He, however, said Iran emphasizes the need for the IAEA's impartiality and will continue its positive cooperation based on bilateral agreement.

On Wednesday, the IAEA’s Board of Governors issued a Western-sponsored statement which accused Iran of non-compliance with its safeguards commitments.

The document, signed by 62 member states of the agency, called upon Iran to take steps to address outstanding safeguards issues and provide the IAEA with information concerning its new nuclear facilities.

Separately on Wednesday, the three European signatories of the 2015 nuclear deal, France, Britain and Germany, also issued a joint statement on the sidelines of the meeting of the IAEA's Board of Governors.

They accused Iran of non-compliance with the nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), even though it was the United States that unilaterally abandoned the deal in 2018 and put its fate in limbo. 

Kan'ani rejected the politically-motivated statement, saying Iran and the IAEA have made “considerable progress” in boosting cooperation based on a joint statement issued in March.

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