IAEA Calls for Continuing Constructive Cooperation

IAEA Calls for Continuing Constructive Cooperation
IAEA Calls for Continuing Constructive Cooperation

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Rafael Grossi called on Iran to continue its “constructive” cooperation with the international watchdog as in the past. 
Grossi was meeting the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi on Tuesday, on the sidelines of the International Conference on Nuclear Security (ICONS 2020) in Vienna, Austria, ISNA reported.  
The two officials, who were meeting for the first time since Grossi's appointment, exchanged views on technical collaborations and safeguards issues. 
Salehi appreciated IAEA's efforts in pursuing Iran's joint technical projects, calling on the agency to maintain its “impartiality” and “professionalism” while discharging its responsibilities. 
He stressed that Iran's principled policy is to continue cooperation with IAEA, but noted that Tehran expects the agency to avoid being influenced by peripheral issues. 
The Iranian nuclear chief also asked IAEA to take note of the effects of its measures on the preservation of the precious 2015 nuclear agreement when devising its policies. 
Under the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Iran agreed to place curbs on its nuclear activities in return for the lifting of international sanctions. 
The United States, however, pulled out unilaterally in 2018 and restored sanctions on Iran. 
In response, Iran also reduced its compliance in five steps, arguing that the deal no longer yielded the economic benefits promised to it, especially given the remaining parties' inability to make up for the American sanctions. 
After implementing the final stage of scaling back its commitments, Iran announced that it will no longer recognize any limits on its peaceful nuclear operations. 
It declared at the same time that all its measures are reversible and that its cooperation with the IAEA will continue as normal. 
Grossi had said earlier that Iran has taken no further steps away from its nuclear obligations under JCPOA since the last phase of its rollback plan. 
"After the fifth step, there hasn't been any follow-up," he had said on his first official visit to Washington in early February.   
Tehran's nuclear steps were aimed at pushing European powers to help Iran weather the impact of the US sanctions.
They, however, triggered the deal's dispute resolution mechanism after the final step, opening the door to a possible reimposition of international sanctions.
Iranian officials said they had various options in case of sanctions renewal, including ceasing cooperation with IAEA. 
The European countries later extended the mechanism's timeline to prevent the case from reaching the United Nations Security Council and the likely restoration of sanctions. 
Speaking to reporters after his meeting with Grossi, the AEOI chief described Iran's relations with the UN nuclear inspection agency as positive and based on mutual understanding, hoping that ties would sustain. 
Salehi noted that the agency's director general acknowledged during the meeting that Iran favors negotiation and logic, but will not make a decision under pressure.
"It was also emphasized that IAEA needs to act in a way that avoids the politicization of its decisions," he said. 

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