Tehran Insistent on Resolution of Safeguards Issues With IAEA

Iran will continue cooperation with the IAEA, but outstanding safeguards issues must be resolved completely, Amir-Abdollahian said
Tehran Insistent on Resolution of Safeguards Issues With IAEA
Tehran Insistent on Resolution of Safeguards Issues With IAEA

Iran’s top diplomat called on the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog to distance itself from “sidetracking and non-constructive political issues” and settle the outstanding safeguards issues technically. 
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks in a phone conversation with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday, ISNA reported. 
Safeguards issues regarding uranium particles allegedly found at undeclared sites in Iran remain open at the International Atomic Energy Agency despite an agreement between the director general and Iranian officials in March to close those cases forever. 
IAEA chief Rafael Grossi reported in early June that Iran’s answers were not credible, which led to the passing of a western-sponsored resolution by the Board of Governors against Tehran. 
Iran described the director general’s report as unfair and unbalanced and reacted by removing all IAEA surveillance cameras that operated beyond the safeguards obligations. 
Amir-Abdollahian said Iran’s cooperation with the agency continues, but urged the IAEA to resolve the outstanding issues completely. 
His call came while a new round of talks on the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal was underway in Vienna, Austria, since Thursday. 
The deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, curbed Iran’s nuclear activity in return for sanctions relief, but the United States pulled out and reimposed tough restrictions which prompted Tehran to scale down its commitments.
Negotiations began in early 2021 to work out how both sides can resume compliance, but were stalled in March over a few final differences. 
The European Union as coordinator of the JCPOA put forward a new initiative last week, making way for the resumption of talks in Vienna on Thursday. 
Tehran says an agreement requires guaranteed sustainability of sanctions lifting, while insisting that no issue which could be used as a means of pressure against Tehran in the future must remain unresolved. 



Flexibility and Realism 

The foreign minister also stressed that Iran has shown its serious determination to reach a strong and lasting agreement, but the outcome will depend on whether the US wants to make an agreement. 
“It depends on whether the US would show the required flexibility and realism,” he said. 
Iran’s top negotiator Ali Baqeri Kani had also earlier put the onus on “those who breached the deal” and have failed to distance from “ominous legacy” of the previous US administration.
“The US must seize the opportunity offered by the JCPOA partners’ generosity; ball is in their court to show maturity & act responsibly,” he tweeted upon departure for Vienna. 
EU coordinator of the talks Enrique Mora told IRNA on Sunday that negotiations have seen some progress over the four days, but refused to provide details about the remaining differences. 
“We are advancing, and I expect we will close the negotiations soon,” he said. 
He also said he is “certainly optimistic” about the result of negotiations. 
Russian negotiator Mikhail Ulyanov also told reporters in Vienna that “we stand 5 minutes or 5 seconds from the finish line,” adding that there are “3 or 4 issues” left to be resolved.
“They are sensitive, especially for Iranians and Americans,” Ulyanov said. “I cannot guarantee, but the impression is that we are moving in the right direction.”
US Special Envoy for Iran Rob Malley had said last week that US expectations for the Vienna talks are “in check” but Washington is prepared for a good faith effort to reach an agreement.
The European parties to the deal urged Iran in a statement “not to make unrealistic demands outside the scope of the JCPOA, including on IAEA safeguards.”
“The text is on the table. There will be no re-opening of negotiations. Iran must now decide to conclude the deal while this is still possible,” the statement said.
Iran insists that the JCPOA and safeguards issue cannot be seen as separated. 

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