TEHRAN – Regarding Iran’s cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a member of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the Parliament says Tehran expects the UN nuclear watchdog to provide a “positive report” about Iran’s nuclear program to the IAEA Board of Governors.
“It was decided that the director-general to present a report on Iran’s goodwill and positive actions to the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency at the next meeting,” Abolfazl Amouei told IRNA in an interview published on Tuesday.
The MP pointed to the extensive cooperation between Iran and the IAEA, and stressed: “Most of the inspections of the nuclear activities in the world have been carried out in Iran, so that over 23% of the total inspections of the International Atomic Energy Agency last year were related to Iran.”
At this stage, Iran expects that with good intentions that Iran has had in the past and now, the IAEA will be able to submit a positive report on Iran’s actions to the IAEA board, the MP remarked.
Amouei said when Grossi returned to Vienna he said that he will surely present a report about Iran’s goodwill to the board and that the level of cooperation between the UN body and Iran is at a very good level.
Addressing the IAEA conference on Monday, Grossi said, “We (IAEA and Iran) have been able, once again, to strengthen the IAEA’s indispensable verification work for the benefit of all.”
Amouei said, “We expect that, with the goodwill we have had in the past and now, the Agency will provide a positive report on Iran’s actions to the Agency’s Board of Governors.”
IAEA director-general held talks in Tehran with Mohammad Eslami, the new chief of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) on Sunday. Following the talks, the IAEA and AEOI issued a joint statement in which they “reaffirmed the spirit of cooperation and mutual trust”.
Part of the statement also said, “IAEA’s inspectors are permitted to service the identified equipment and replace their storage media which will be kept under the joint IAEA and AEOI seals in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The way and the timing are agreed by the two sides.”
Amouei said, “Grossi’s visit is part of the technical cooperation between Iran and the international nuclear watchdog. Of course, the main goal of the Agency’s mission should be technical, because the politicization of the Agency will damage the position of this Agency and its cooperation with Iran.”
The visit between Grossi and Iran’s nuclear chief took place one day before the start of the IAEA conference.
The MP went on to say that Iran as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is legally entitled to carry out peaceful nuclear activities, and in return the IAEA must monitor Iran’s nuclear program like all other NPT parties.
The member of the parliamentary committee said in accordance with the JCPOA Iran “agreed to accept monitoring beyond the safeguards agreement” and therefore Iran voluntarily implemented the Additional Protocol, which allows for snap and intensive inspections.
However, since the American and European sides did not adhere to their commitments based on the 2015 nuclear deal Iran voluntarily suspended the implementation of the protocol, the parliamentarian stated.
In July 2015, when the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was signed between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany), the IAEA was tasked to monitor Iran’s commitment to the agreement.
According to the JCPOA, Iran agreed to put limits on its nuclear activities in exchange for termination of economic and financial sanctions. However, in May 2018 Trump quit the nuclear agreement, returned sanctions and imposed new ones. The sanctions were in line with Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign against the Islamic Republic.
Amoui said Grossi suggested that although Iran has restricted access by IAEA inspectors to surveillance cameras based on the Additional Protocol, Iran should “retain the cameras and footages” and, if it reaches an agreement on the nuclear deal with the P4+1, “it be able to access the content of these cameras.”
The AEOI restricted IAEA inspection of Iran’s nuclear activities based on a legislation passed by the Iranian parliament in December 2020.
Spokesman for the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs insisted on Monday that an access by the IAEA to cameras’ memory is possible only when an agreement is reached on the restoration of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Khatibzadeh said, “Iran-Agency relations are normal and technical, and as long as the non-political and non-discriminatory aspects of the Agency are maintained vis-a-vis Iran, Iran will pursue its relations seriously.”
Amouei said a few months have passed since the IAEA has not had access to these cameras, and at this stage “it was suggested that Iran provide temporary technical access to the Agency to service these cameras without access to its content and change and replace memory cards.”
Regarding the U.S. approach toward the nuclear talks in Vienna to revitalize the JCPOA, Amouei said: “Iran is still a member of the JCPOA and Iran’s actions to scale back its nuclear obligations have been based on Paragraphs 26 and 36 of this agreement.”
The country that illegally withdrew from the agreement in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231 was the United States, he underlined.
The MP noted that the Vienna talks were aimed to make the U.S. fulfill its commitments to the JCPOA so that it could become a member of the agreement again.
He said Tehran’s position is that until the sanctions are not lifted, Iran will not agree to the addition of the United States to the P4+1.
The parliamentarian said the most important obstacle to the talks in Vienna was the Americans’ insistence on maintaining sanctions.
“As long as the United States pursues the same policy and wants to maintain sanctions against Iran, we should not expect progress in the talks,” he pointed out.
The talks to revive the JCPOA started in Vienna in April. Six rounds of talks were held until June.
The talks are expected to be resumed now that a new government has come to power in Iran.
“Three months is the best time for the United States to reconsider its policies toward Iran, because with the past policies, the same results are happening as before,” he said, noting, “If these policies do not change, Iran cannot be expected to overlook its national interests.”