IAEA False Claims Indicate Lack of Good Faith

IAEA False Claims Indicate Lack of Good FaithIAEA False Claims Indicate Lack of Good Faith

A member of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee said the repetition of "false claims" by the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) indicates that the UN nuclear agency is not acting in good faith.  

"While there are reports that (the negotiators at) the talks between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) have reached agreement on many issues and that the two sides are close to striking a deal, such regressive remarks should not be made if international organizations are really acting in good faith," Hossein Sobhaninia told ICANA on Sunday in response to  Yukiya Amano's remarks in an interview with Israel Radio on Friday, in which he claimed Iran had so far been unresponsive to a series of questions regarding its nuclear program and had failed to adequately address concerns over its alleged attempts to develop nuclear weapons.

The lawmaker said it seems that the new claims have been made to "please" the major powers, adding, "This shows that the agency is under control of the hegemonistic system, and whenever the West needs to create a commotion, they express their points through the agency."

He also said, "The P5+1 and the Americans do not want to help solve the nuclear challenge… despite the fact that the Islamic Republic engaged (in the talks) sincerely to help (the issue) reach a sound conclusion, but if the West wants to stick to this approach and seeks to compel Iran to soften its position through making excuses and exerting unconventional and illegal pressure on a daily basis, they have certainly taken a wrong path."

"Iran will not step away from its principled policies," he noted.    

  Crucial Juncture

In another interview with Reuters on Saturday, the IAEA chief said the talks between Iran and the UN nuclear agency have reached a "crucial" juncture and Tehran needs to provide urgent clarification on key aspects of its nuclear program.  

Iran and the six major powers (the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany) hope to clinch a final deal by June 30 that would end sanctions against Iran in return for constraints on its nuclear program which would be in place for a specified period of time. Parallel to those negotiations, the IAEA is also conducting its own investigation into Iran’s nuclear program.

Amano said Iran needed to step up its talks with his agency. “We are at a very crucial moment. So we need to further intensify our efforts to clarify the past issues and get prepared for the future issues,” Amano said on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.

Amano also said the possible military dimensions of the Iranian program and unannounced inspections outside declared nuclear sites were issues where the UN nuclear watchdog was seeking further clarification.

“Iran has to implement the measures that they have agreed... Clarification of issues with possible military dimension and implementation of the Additional Protocol and beyond is essential,” Amano said after meeting Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Munich.

Iran has suggested that it is ready to consider accepting an Additional Protocol to its safeguards agreement with the IAEA as part of a comprehensive long-term settlement to the 12-year dispute over its nuclear program, which is being hammered out in the negotiations between Iran and the major powers. The negotiators have said the final decision on the Additional Protocol lies with parliament.  

The Additional Protocol is a legal document granting the IAEA complementary inspection authority to that provided in underlying safeguards agreements. A principal aim is to enable the IAEA inspectorate to provide assurance about both declared and possible undeclared nuclear activities of a member state. Under the protocol, the IAEA is granted expanded rights of access to information and sites.  Tehran voluntarily signed the Additional Protocol in December 2003 and remained committed to it for over two years, but suspended its implementation after the UN Security Council imposed nuclear-related sanctions on Iran.

Elsewhere, Amano said, “By no means, this (IAEA investigation) is not open-ended, this is not an endless process. With the reasonable or full cooperation from Iran we can clarify the issue with a reasonable time frame.”

Some western countries claim Iran may have been seeking to develop the capability to build nuclear weapons. Tehran denied the allegation, saying its nuclear program is solely for peaceful applications, including electricity generation.

Last November, the IAEA issued a report claiming Iran was failing to fully address suspicions that it may have worked on designing an atomic bomb.

Since President Hassan Rouhani took office in August 2013, Tehran has increased its cooperation with the IAEA to help ease concerns over its nuclear work and under a framework agreement on further cooperation which was signed in November 2013, it agreed to take some nuclear transparency measures, including allowing IAEA inspectors to visit its nuclear sites and answering questions about its nuclear activities in the past.    

The next detailed report of the UN nuclear agency is expected later this month, but Amano declined to comment on it.

“Today I had a meeting with Minister Zarif and we agreed to intensify the high-level talks between Iran and the IAEA,” Amano said, adding that no date had been set for their next meeting though he expected the talks to become more frequent.