Permanent Oversight by IAEA Not Unusual

Permanent Oversight  by IAEA Not Unusual   Permanent Oversight  by IAEA Not Unusual

A senior nuclear negotiator said the permanent supervision of countries' nuclear programs by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is a normal procedure within the framework of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Asked to comment on the recent remarks by US Secretary of State John Kerry that the inspection of Iran's nuclear work under any final nuclear deal with the major powers would continue "forever", Abbas Araqchi said, "I don't consider (Kerry's remarks) to be something bizarre."

"It is among the basic terms of the NPT that signatories able to produce peaceful nuclear energy can only pursue their nuclear activities in exchange for allowing IAEA inspections and taking (other) confidence-building measures," IRNA quoted him as telling reporters on Tuesday. Araqchi's remarks came after Kerry said in an interview with Israel's Channel 10 Television on Saturday that "we will have inspectors in (Iran) every single day. That's not a 10-year deal. That's forever. There have to be inspections."

Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany) have been in talks to reach a settlement to the long-running dispute over Tehran's nuclear program.

Negotiations led to an understanding between the two sides on April 2 in the Swiss city of Lausanne on the framework of the final deal, whose details have to be worked out by an end-June deadline.

The prospective accord would place constraints on Iran's nuclear program, including more rigorous inspections by the UN nuclear agency, with international sanctions being removed in return.

  No Special Concessions  

The monitoring of nuclear activities is carried out to ensure the peaceful nature of countries' nuclear programs, Araqchi said, adding, "We joined the NPT years ago. Based on this treaty, a safeguards agreement has been signed between Iran and the IAEA, which is permanent. So the IAEA inspection is nothing unusual."

Noting that the monitoring regime to be used by the IAEA is one of the main sticking points in the talks, the deputy foreign minister said, "What the Islamic Republic of Iran offers to the other side in negotiations is taking confidence building measures."

"We will not make any special concessions, while they will allow the continuation of enrichment program, the continued operation of Arak heavy water reactor and the lifting of sanctions," he reminded.

Commenting on the Additional Protocol that should get through parliament before it can be implemented, he said, "If approved by the Majlis, (it) will come into force," adding, "This is not unusual either as over 100 countries are currently implementing the Additional Protocol."

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.