Amano Should Not Undermine IAEA Independence

Amano Should Not Undermine IAEA Independence Amano Should Not Undermine IAEA Independence

The spokesperson for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano should take account of Iran’s security considerations and be careful not to undermine the IAEA’s independent and impartial stance in his meeting with the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on Wednesday over the Iran nuclear deal.

The head of the UN nuclear watchdog took US lawmakers up on an offer to appear before the Senate to answer questions about the IAEA’s role in monitoring and verifying the accord  on Tehran’s nuclear work agreed by Iran, the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union last month in Vienna.

Speaking to reporters on Amano’s decision on Sunday, Behrouz Kamalvandi noted, “What matters to us is independence and impartiality of the agency. The director general is regarded as the guardian of the independence and impartiality of the world body.”

Amano has the task of assessing Iran’s past and future nuclear program. He has no political mandate but should manage and maintain a fine balance between delivering data on Iran’s nuclear activities and the major political consequences such information can have.

“Under the IAEA statute and safeguards agreement as well as article 10 of the recent agreement between Iran and the agency, our country’s security considerations must be respected…. The IAEA is bound to protect countries’ classified information,” Kamalvandi was quoted by Fars News Agency as saying.

The day the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the official name of the deal) was announced witnessed an agreement between Tehran and the UN nuclear agency on a roadmap to resolve outstanding issues regarding Tehran’s present and past nuclear activities.

  Dire Consequences

Elsewhere, Ambassador to the IAEA Reza Najafi warned on Sunday of dire consequences of disclosing the agreement’s confidential details, saying Iran has been quite clear with the agency about such consequences.

The US Congress has until Sept. 17 to reject, approve or take no action on the nuclear deal. Rejection could result in a promised veto by US President Barack Obama. To override the veto, opponents of the agreement would need to have at least two-thirds of both the Senate and the House vote against it.

Testifying at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing as part of the White House’s campaign to convince Congress to back the deal, US Secretary of State John Kerry tried to allay the concerns of Republican senators who complained that they are being asked to vote on the JCPOA without being privy to verification documents of the roadmap agreement.

Kerry said there is no side deal or secret agreements between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency, adding that there are, however, technical documents that are standard practice and not released publicly.

“We are aware of what the basics of it are,” Kerry told the committee members. “It is standard procedure for 189 countries that have an agreement with the IAEA. ... We don’t get that. It is not shared with the world, but we do get briefed on it.”

Referring to Kerry’s remarks, Najafi was quoted by IRNA as saying, “Even the US administration is not informed about the secret contents of the Iran-IAEA agreement, so definitely they cannot be disclosed to Senate members either.”