IAEA Sole Authority to Verify Tehran’s Compliance

Javad SadatinejadJavad Sadatinejad

The UN nuclear agency is the sole authority mandated by the 2015 nuclear deal to verify Iran's compliance, a lawmaker said, rejecting an allegation of deal violations recently made against Iran by some US congressmen, a lawmaker said.

"The agency is the only authority to assess Iran's compliance with the JCPOA," Javad Sadatinejad also told ICANA in a recent talk, referring to the landmark accord by its official name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. US lawmaker Lee Zeldin, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, led 23 members of congress in authoring a letter to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo, seeking confirmation of at least eight alleged violations of the 2015 Iran nuclear accord.

"We write to inquire as to whether your respective departments and agencies possess intelligence to confirm [the alleged] violations. We request to be briefed on any such intelligence as well as any plans the administration may have to respond to the violations," the letter said. JCPOA was negotiated with P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) to scale down Tehran's nuclear program in return for relief from international sanctions.

The last week's letter claimed that since the action plan took effect in January 2016, Iran has breached not only the spirit but also the letter of the agreement "on numerous fronts".

That accusation came despite findings documented in the nine reports of the International Atomic Energy Agency, all of which have confirmed Tehran's commitment.

  The Only Judge

Speaking in a weekly presser on Monday, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Bahram Qasemi echoed Sadatinejad's view that the US Congress is in no position to verify Tehran's commitments under the deal.

"We do not recognize members of the US Senate and Congress as a judge. There is only one judge regarding the JCPOA issue and it is the IAEA," Qasemi was quoted as saying by Fars News Agency.

The letter was apparently meant as an attempt to shore up the hawkish stance of beleaguered US President Donald Trump against the landmark agreement. He has been outspoken in his criticism of the international accord and defied the IAEA and European allies to decertify Tehran's compliance in mid-October.

Trump's announcement gave congress 60 days to decide whether to reinstate Iran sanctions, which deadline expired earlier this month without any congressional action.

His controversial decision drew the ire of the European parties to the pact, who publically opposed his demand for a renegotiation of the deal to expand the scope of curbs beyond the nuclear issue. Officials in Tehran have ruled out any reopening of nuclear negotiations, which were agreed to be confined to the nuclear issue.


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