IAEA Urged to Maintain Impartiality, Professionalism

Gharibabadi called on IAEA members to avoid exploiting the UN nuclear agency to reach their political goals
IAEA Urged to Maintain Impartiality, Professionalism
IAEA Urged to Maintain Impartiality, Professionalism

Iran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency urged the watchdog to maintain its impartiality and professionalism in dealing with Iran’s nuclear activities. 
“IAEA members must also seriously avoid pressurizing the agency and trying to exploit it toward their political goals,” Kazem Gharibabadi was quoted as saying by ISNA. 
He made the remarks in reaction to recent IAEA reports about Iran’s compliance with its Safeguards Agreement and the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which restricted the country’s atomic activities in return for sanctions relief.   
In two reports to member states, the agency said there had been no progress on two central issues: explaining uranium traces allegedly found at several old, undeclared sites and getting urgent access to some monitoring equipment so that the agency can continue to keep track of parts of Iran’s nuclear program.
Gharibabadi said all nuclear activities of Iran, including enrichment at various levels and production of uranium metal, are within the framework of Iran’s rights under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and are totally in accordance with the country’s Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement. 
“Given the fact that the other parties have not fulfilled their commitments under the nuclear deal regarding sanctions lifting, and that the United States’ policy of imposing illegal and unilateral sanctions still continue, nobody can demand that Iran stop its activities as per this agreement,” he said. 
Iran has been increasing its nuclear activity in response to the US sweeping sanctions that were reimposed after its 2018 exit from the JCPOA. 
In a most recent move in February, Iran suspended its voluntary adherence with the Additional Protocol to the CSA, a platform that allowed snap inspections by the IAEA, but agreed to keep the recordings for three months and share it with the agency in case sanctions were removed by then.
The restrictions continue months after the deadline, despite negotiations in Vienna, Austria, which aim to bring both Iran and the US back into compliance. 
The report said the agency has not had access to the equipment since May 25.
“Recording data beyond [the requirements of] the CSA was agreed with the IAEA for three months on a completely political basis; this neither grants the agency a right, nor imposes a duty on Iran,” the ambassador to Vienna-based organizations said.   



No Matter of Urgency 

Referring to the uranium traces, he said there are only four safeguards issues between Iran and the IAEA which belong to around two decades ago and are no matters of urgency as the director general has said in the reports.  
“Iran has so far had appropriate and constructive cooperation with the agency about them with the aim of resolving the issues,” he said. 
Gharibabadi censured the agency for trying to overstate these matters under pressure from several of its members, in spite of extensive monitoring of Iran’s nuclear facilities—which constitute more than one-fifth of all IAEA inspections at global level—and while there are no safeguards issues in the country’s current activities.
He said the serious concern today is nuclear weapons of Israel, its terrorist acts of sabotage in peaceful nuclear sites and assassination of atomic scientists “which the IAEA has not had the audacity so far to take a position about.”
“We have transparent and constructive cooperation with the agency and this transparency must be acknowledged and commended, rather than becoming an instrument for pointless nitpicking,” he said.   
With the IAEA critical report, it is likely that the US and its European allies push for a resolution that they had earlier dropped at next week’s meeting of the 35-nation IAEA Board of Governors later this month.

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