US Pressure on IAEA Criticized

The UN nuclear agency should not let its independence and authority over the JCPOA be questioned in the international arena
IAEA has been urged not to compromise on its independence regarding its JCPOA jurisdiction.IAEA has been urged not to compromise on its independence regarding its JCPOA jurisdiction.

Iran’s mission to the United Nations office in Vienna denounced as “illegal” the US pressure on the UN nuclear agency to interfere with its role in policing Tehran’s compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal.

The condemnation came Thursday in a statement, a day after US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley met with the safeguards experts of International Atomic Energy Agency and Director General Yukiya Amano in Vienna to discuss the pact.

Iran has criticized Haley’s trip as part of the US administration’s hostile Iran policy to undermine the nuclear agreement, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“Iran is well-acquainted with its commitments under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, JCPOA, safeguards agreements and the Additional Protocol, and has and will abide by those commitments,” Iran’s mission said. 

"But it will never allow these rules [and treaties] to be misused against it by another country to achieve its paranoiac political purposes," the statement added.

  Ulterior Motives

Iran's permanent mission to the UN, in a separate statement, questioned the ulterior motives behind Haley's trip, saying they "contradict" JCPOA and UN Resolution 2231.

The resolution was adopted on July 20, 2015, to endorse the action plan days after it was concluded between Iran and six major powers, namely the US, Britain, France, China and Russia plus Germany.

It went into effect on January 16, 2016, to ease sanctions against the Islamic Republic in exchange for time-bound curbs on its nuclear program.

The Vienna-based UN nuclear watchdog, which is tasked with overseeing the landmark pact, has verified Iran's compliance in all its reports so far.

While on the campaign trail, US President Donald Trump called the landmark agreement, brokered by his predecessor Barack Obama, "the worst deal ever negotiated" and vowed to either dismantle or renegotiate it.

Haley's trip came amid escalating tensions between the United States and Iran in which each accuses the other of undermining the action plan.

Despite his harsh tone against JCPOA, Trump's government has twice certified Iran's adherence since coming to power in January to comply with a US law that requires the administration to notify the US Congress about Iran's compliance every 90 days.

But he has made no secret of his desire to declare Iran in violation when the next review comes up in mid-October.

Haley's office said in a statement that she praised IAEA's works in the Wednesday meetings but also "discussed US concerns about ensuring Iran strictly adheres to its obligations, noting that IAEA reports can only be as good as the access Iran grants to any facility the IAEA suspects of having a nuclear role".

  Discredit to UN Watchdog

Iran's Vienna mission dismissed Haley's claim about the IAEA's reports as totally "wrong" and to the discredit of the UN nuclear watchdog.

"It is an uncanny claim and completely wrong claim that calls into question the credibility of the agency and its reports on Iran and any other country," he said.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also urged IAEA not to compromise on its independence regarding its JCPOA jurisdiction.

"The agency should not let its independence and authority over the action plan be questioned in the international arena," he said in a Friday talk with ISNA.

Haley had said before the Wednesday meetings that the Trump administration is not looking for a pretext to junk the nuclear deal, despite the president's sharp criticism of the agreement and reports that he has been reluctant to certify that Tehran is meeting its obligations.

President Hassan Rouhani warned earlier this month that Iran could walk away "within hours" if the United States slaps more sanctions on Iran, which prompted Haley's reaction a day later.

"Iran cannot be allowed to use the nuclear deal to hold the world hostage … The nuclear deal must not become 'too big to fail'," Haley had said in response.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints