Nuclear Pact Clear Gain for IAEA Verification

Nuclear Pact Clear Gain for IAEA VerificationNuclear Pact Clear Gain for IAEA Verification

The UN nuclear chief hailed the Iran nuclear deal as a clear gain for the verification mandate of his organization.

"Without the JCPOA, we would have much less knowledge of Iran's nuclear program," International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano said during a speech at the Harvard University on Wednesday, referring to the accord by its official name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

He said IAEA had more inspection powers over Iran's nuclear program, which has been rolled back by the 2015 agreement between Iran and six major powers, plus the European Union, according to a transcript of his remarks carried by IAEA's official website.

"All of our activities are supported by state-of-the-art technology, including data collecting and processing systems. Our current verification capability is much stronger than it has ever been," Amano said.

His remarks came against the backdrop of the US harsh stance toward the deal and its heightened pressure on Amano's agency to tighten its inspection regime on Iran.

Under JCPOA, Iran reduced its nuclear activities and agreed to allow greater access for IAEA's inspectors, in return for relief from international sanctions.

The nuclear-related commitments undertaken by Iran under JCPOA are being implemented and the IAEA has so far had access to all locations it has needed to visit in the country, Amano said, adding that "the sun does not set on IAEA safeguards".

Amano was on a nine-day visit to the United States, where he also discussed the Iran accord in a meeting with US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. He noted that IAEA had been at the heart of efforts to resolve the Iran nuclear issue since 2002, when reports first emerged of possible undeclared nuclear activities in the country.

Iran has consistently denied ever having considered developing a nuclear warhead and says its nuclear program has pursued exclusively civilian purposes.

"Crucially, Tehran is now provisionally implementing the Additional Protocol to its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement with IAEA, giving inspectors wider access to information and locations in Iran," Amano said.


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