Amano Hails JCPOA Compliance Amid Harsh US Stance

The International Atomic Energy Agency believes the Iran nuclear deal brought a significant gain for the agency’s verification regime
IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano (L) and Iran's nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, attend a presser in Tehran on Oct. 29.	IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano (L) and Iran's nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, attend a presser in Tehran on Oct. 29.

UN nuclear chief, Yukiya Amano, reconfirmed Iran's full compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal on Sunday, during a visit to Tehran that sent a strong signal to the beleaguered, anti-deal US President Donald Trump.

Amano met President Hassan Rouhani, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, during his one-day stay, Fars News Agency reported.

Speaking to reporters after talks with Salehi, Amano praised the nuclear agreement between Iran and P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) for helping boost the oversight mechanism and mandate of his organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency.

"The agency believes that JCPOA brought a significant gain for the agency's verification. The agency now can expressly confirm that Iran's nuclear commitments are being implemented," he said.

Amano has repeatedly stressed that Iran's nuclear program is under the world's "most robust nuclear verification regime".

"Iran is carrying out all its commitments and all others involved in the JCPOA should do the same," he said.

Amano was using an abbreviation that stands for the official title of the accord, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, under which the IAEA has been tasked with overseeing its implementation.

The action plan was agreed between Iran and the administration of Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, and those of the other five power nations.

It gave Tehran relief from international sanctions in return for acceding to curb its nuclear program, as set out in the deal.

***Significant Message

But despite the documented, full verification of the Islamic Republic's commitments by IAEA, the sole official authority with a mandate to monitor JCPOA's implementation, Trump has severely criticized the deal for allegedly containing "many flaws" and has been pressuring the Vienna-based agency to pressure Iran by seeking access to military sites.

Iranian officials have ruled out any foreign visits to military facilities, citing national security concerns.

Salehi said the visit by the IAEA director general against a backdrop of the US administration's mounting hostility toward the nuclear pact and the Islamic Republic sends a significant message.

"Amano's trip at such a critical juncture carries a special message [and shows] he is determined … to contribute to resolving the problems," the AEOI head said.

He cited Amano's resistance in the face of strong US lobbying to make him request access for IAEA's inspectors to Iran's military sites.

"Amano has made no new request for visits to [military facilities]," Salehi said.

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