Call on IAEA to Stick to Technical Duties, Maintain Impartiality

Call on IAEA to Stick to Technical Duties, Maintain Impartiality
Call on IAEA to Stick to Technical Duties, Maintain Impartiality

Iranian Foreign ministry Spokesman called on the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency to make statements within the technical framework and maintain its impartiality after the agency’s chief said a “more robust inspection presence” was needed in Iran. 
“Iran’s good relations with the Agency can continue within this framework,” Saeed khatibzadeh said on Monday, during his last press briefing in the Iranian calendar year (ends March 20), ISNA reported.   
As a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran has a Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA based on which its nuclear activities are monitored by the global watchdog. 
Under the 2015 nuclear deal with the world powers, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Iran also agreed to temporarily and voluntarily implement the Additional Protocol which allows for snap inspections and other monitoring measures.
The deal, however, has been in bad shape since the United States pulled out in 2018 and reimposed sweeping sanctions on Tehran. 
Iran has gradually scaled back its commitments in response, although it remained within the deal, declaring that it would reverse its measures as soon as sanctions are lifted. 
As part of its remedial measures, Iran has started to enrich uranium to 20% concentration, and last month it suspended its compliance with the Additional Protocol.  
The 20% level is significant because after that threshold, it becomes easier to enrich uranium to weapons-grade concentration. 
IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi told Nikkei in an interview on Friday that the production of uranium at higher levels of enrichment "brings Iran closer to levels for which the development of military uses could not be excluded."
Iran has always denied seeking a nuclear weapon, maintaining that its program is exclusively peaceful. 
Grossi also called Iran’s suspension of the Protocol "an extraordinary situation."
"It is clear that you need a very robust inspection presence, if you want to have credible assurances that there are no military deviations," he said. 
Khatibzadeh stressed that Iran has always given the required access to the IAEA in compliance with its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement.
“Part of the accesses were beyond the CSA and based on the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol that was suspended as per a parliamentary law,” he pointed out. 
During Grossi’s trip to Tehran last month, Iran reached an understanding the Agency and agreed to leave IAEA cameras on for another three months, but only share the videos with the agency in case US sanctions are completely removed.
The spokesman said the three-month agreement has provided an opportunity for diplomacy. 
“We need to wait and see how the other side uses this window of opportunity,” he said. 
New US President Joe Biden has shown interest in bringing Washington back to the JCPOA, but calls on Iran to resume full compliance first. Iran, on the other hand, demands a complete and effective lifting of sanctions before it reverses its nuclear measures. 

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