Interim Accord Not Violated

Interim Accord Not Violated  Interim Accord Not Violated

The spokesperson for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) said Tehran has not violated its obligations under an interim accord it signed with the major powers last year over its nuclear program.

Behrouz Kamalvandi made the remarks in response to a report by an American magazine claiming Iran has sought to procure “components for a heavy water reactor that American officials have long feared could be used in the production of nuclear weapons-grade plutonium.”

Iran denies its nuclear program has any military objectives and says the effort is for peaceful purposes.  

Kamalvandi told reporters on Tuesday, “I am not aware of any purchase (of such equipment by Iran); however, even if any equipment had been bought it would not be in breach of our obligations based on the Geneva agreement.”

“Based on what has been reported, Iran has not violated the terms of JPOA (Joint Plan of Action), since in accordance with the agreement, Iran has undertaken not to install major equipment within the period between January to July (the first target date for a final deal which was missed) and within the extension period,” ISNA quoted him as saying.  

Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) failed to meet the second self-imposed deadline of November 24 to reach a long-term settlement to the long-running dispute over Tehran’s nuclear work and decided to extend their talks on a comprehensive deal for seven more months until June 30, 2015.

The two sides had reached a preliminary nuclear agreement in Geneva in November 2013, under which Iran agreed to temporarily scale down parts of its nuclear activities in exchange for limited sanctions relief. The interim deal is officially known as the Joint Plan of Action.  

The Foreign Policy magazine reported on Monday that “Washington has evidence that Tehran is trying to buy new equipment for a key nuclear facility. But the White House isn’t willing to say anything publicly about it.”

“The US allegations were detailed in a confidential November 7 report by an eight-member panel of experts that advises a UN Security Council committee that oversees international compliance with UN sanctions on Iran.”

The confidential report, portions of which were made available to Foreign Policy, notes that “one member state highlighted during consultations with the panel a number of developments regarding (alleged) proliferation-sensitive procurement by Iran.” The delegation, the report continued, “informed the panel that it had observed no recent downturn in procurement” in recent months. It did cite a “relative decrease in centrifuge enrichment related-procurement” in recent months. But it added that it had detected “an increase in procurement on behalf of the IR-40 heavy water research reactor at Arak.”

  US Says Commitments Fulfilled

In response to questions about the Foreign Policy report, US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday, “Iran has kept all of its commitments under the JPOA. We continue to believe that.”

“I saw this report; we all saw the report this morning. It’s not breaking news that we are concerned about Iran’s procurement activities. I believe that’s referenced in the report. We rarely get into specifics of that. We have ongoing discussions with the UN, with a range of organizations out there about our concerns. We’ve repeatedly spoken about this concern.”

“We’ve also put in place sanctions related to these concerns. So I don’t think there’s a great deal of new information in there that should,” Psaki said, according to a transcript of her remarks posted on the website of the State Department.  

Elsewhere, Kamalvandi said, “Our contacts and negotiations are ongoing and (International Atomic Energy Agency) inspectors are coming and going.”

“The UN nuclear agency’s procedure for carrying out inspections of nuclear facilities in the seven-month extension period of the Geneva agreement has not changed,” the spokesperson for the AEOI said, adding, “In the past, IAEA inspectors wanted to have extensive and numerous inspections and even sought to establish a permanent office in Iran, which Iran rejected. Nevertheless, inspections are going on within the framework of Iran’s safeguards agreement with the IAEA.”