Commitment to IAEA Cooperation Reaffirmed

Commitment to IAEA  Cooperation Reaffirmed
Commitment to IAEA  Cooperation Reaffirmed

The ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Organization says Iran is committed to continuing its cooperation with the UN nuclear agency to help resolve outstanding issues regarding its nuclear program.

Commenting on the IAEA report which was issued to member states on Friday, Reza Najafi said the report confirms that Iran’s nuclear activities are meant for peaceful purposes and are carried out under the supervision of the UN nuclear watchdog and there is no diversion in the nuclear program.  

It also confirms that Iran has met all its commitments under the interim nuclear deal, he said.

Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) reached a landmark interim nuclear deal in Geneva last November, under which Iran agreed to temporarily scale down parts of its nuclear activities in exchange for limited sanctions relief. Iran and the major powers in July extended the accord for four more months until November 24 to provide time and space for working out a long-term settlement to the dispute over Tehran’s nuclear work, which has dragged on for over a decade.

The IAEA is investigating what it calls possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program. It is also tasked with verifying Tehran’s compliance with its nuclear commitments under the Geneva agreement.  

Iran denies the allegation that it may have been seeking to develop the capability to build nuclear weapons and says its nuclear work is meant only for peaceful applications, but it has increased its cooperation with the IAEA since the election of President Hassan Rouhani last year to allay concerns over its nuclear program.

Iran-IAEA cooperation is separate, but closely linked to, nuclear talks between Iran and the six major powers (the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany). The major powers have said Iran should step up cooperation with the UN nuclear agency’s inquiry to pave the way for a final nuclear deal which would impose temporary constraints on the country’s nuclear program in exchange for a phased lifting of economic sanctions which have negatively affected its economy.   

Najafi said the IAEA report shows “full transparency” in Iran’s nuclear activities. “According to the report, nothing is hidden in Iran’s nuclear program and artificial concerns of some Western countries over the program are baseless.”

Elsewhere, he said Iran can consider implementing the Additional Protocol if all sanctions are lifted and the nuclear dossier is referred back to the IAEA.   

The Additional Protocol grants the IAEA broader rights of access to nuclear sites of a member state.

  New Transparency Measures

In addition, Najafi said discussions on the implementation of nuclear transparency measures are underway. He also said new transparency measures will be proposed after the completion of two remaining steps of the five practical measures Iran agreed in May to carry out by late August. Iran says the target date was not met due to the “complexity” of the issues.   

The two issues that have not been fully addressed are alleged experiments on explosives that could be used for an atomic device, and alleged studies related to calculating nuclear explosive yields. The IAEA report claimed, “Iran has not provided any explanations that enable the agency to clarify the outstanding practical measures.”

The UN agency also said the two sides last met on November 2 in Tehran and had agreed to meet again as soon as possible, but not before November 24.