IAEA Agreement Part of Prospective Deal on JCPOA Revival

Khatibzadeh said there is a direct connection between the closure of the safeguards questions and the agreement to be reached in Vienna
IAEA Agreement Part of Prospective Deal on JCPOA Revival
IAEA Agreement Part of Prospective Deal on JCPOA Revival

Iran’s agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency on outstanding safeguards issues should be considered part of a prospective agreement on the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal, an Iranian senior diplomat said. 
“There is a direct connection between the closure of these questions and the agreement to be reached in Vienna,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a regular press conference on Monday, ISNA reported. 
Following a trip by IAEA chief Rafael Grossi to Tehran on Saturday, Iran and the agency agreed on a three-month roadmap to address questions about uranium particles allegedly found in three Iranian sites.
The agreement outlines a plan for a series of exchanges between Tehran and the agency, after which the IAEA director general will report his conclusion by the June 2022 Board of Governors meeting. 
The agency has long said Iran has not given satisfactory answers on the issue of uranium particles. 
Khatibzadeh said Tehran had already provided answers but it was essential to close the case within a technical framework and a specific timeline.
The agreement came as negotiations in the Austrian capital Vienna are in a final stage, with delegates working to settle the last remaining issues to restore the nuclear pact, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
The JCPOA has been on shaky ground since the United States pulled out and reimposed tough sanctions, prompting Tehran to roll back on its commitments in reaction.


The IAEA is free to settle the safeguards case earlier than the time limit once provided with Iran’s answers, according to the diplomat

Iran has demanded the closure of IAEA investigations into the uranium traces, while western powers argue that this is a separate issue to the deal, to which the IAEA is not a party.
The IAEA director general had said earlier that realizing a comprehensive agreement like the JCPOA would be inconceivable if Iran and the agency do not reach an understanding about these safeguards issues.  
Khatibzadeh said Iran’s technical cooperation with the IAEA on this issue needs to correspond with the timing of a potential agreement in Vienna. 
Based on the accord, the case of the safeguards issues is to be closed before the “Reimplementation Day”, a postulated date by which the JCPOA would be back in place, around one to three months after a basic agreement is reached in Vienna. 
“What has been agreed between Iran and the agency has a time limit, but the agency is free to settle the case earlier once provided with Iran’s answers,” the spokesman said. 
The Iranian diplomat also said the remaining differences in Vienna talks are very few and all await decisions by the US, in which case an agreement can be reached shortly. 
Yet, the negotiations appear to be facing a new challenge as Russia has demanded a US guarantee that the sanctions it faces over the Ukraine conflict will not hurt its cooperation with Tehran.
Khatibzadeh said Iran is waiting to hear the statements from diplomatic channels. 
It would only be natural to receive such demands within the framework of negotiations in Vienna, he added. 
“Let us hear a translation of this demand at the negotiating table so as to decide how it should be dealt with.” 
He stressed, however, that Iran’s peaceful nuclear cooperation with other countries, including Russia, must not be limited or subject to sanctions of any kind, especially if those bans are self-authorized and lacking a United Nations mandate.  

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