TEHRAN – Iran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency has said that the recent IAEA report on Tehran’s nuclear program confirms that the country’s nuclear activities are under the supervision of the UN nuclear agency.
Ambassador Reza Najafi also said that the parts of the report which are about the possible military dimensions of Tehran’s nuclear program have repeatedly been rejected by Iranian officials, ISNA reported on Saturday.
The spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran also said on Saturday that the IAEA report is a step forward within the framework of cooperation between Tehran and the UN nuclear agency.
“Compared with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s previous reports, the report has duly mentioned the country’s transparency measures and has properly reflected such measures,” Behrouz Kamalvandi told the Mehr News Agency.
The report indicates the fact that Iran has met its commitments under an interim nuclear deal with the major powers and a framework agreement on further cooperation with the IAEA, he added.
The UN nuclear watchdog said on Friday that Iran has cut its stockpile of uranium enriched to a purity level of 20 percent by around 80 percent under the interim nuclear deal and has engaged with the agency’s further investigation into its nuclear program, according to Reuters.
The findings, in a quarterly report by the IAEA, are likely to be welcomed by the six powers trying to negotiate a long-term deal with Iran on ending a decade-old dispute over its nuclear program.
Iran rejects Western allegations that it has been trying to develop the capability to build nuclear weapons. But it has offered to increase cooperation with the IAEA to show the country’s will to resolve the nuclear dispute.
The IAEA, which has a pivotal role in verifying that Iran is living up to its part of the six-month accord reached in November, made clear that Iran so far is undertaking the agreed steps to scale back its nuclear program.
Under the breakthrough agreement that took effect on January 20, Iran halted some aspects of its nuclear program in exchange for a limited easing of international sanctions. It was designed to buy time for talks on a final deal that began in February.
The IAEA report showed that Iran since January had acted to reduce its stockpile of higher-grade enriched uranium gas by just under 82 percent.
On another closely watched aspect of Iran’s nuclear activities, the report said Iran at a meeting in Tehran this week had shown the IAEA information that simultaneous firing of a type of detonator was tested for a civilian application.
The IAEA had asked for explanations about the development of Exploding Bridge Wire (EBW) detonators as part of its probe.
“This is the first time that Iran has engaged in a technical exchange with the agency on this or any other of the outstanding issues ... since 2008,” the report said. “The agency’s assessment of the information provided by Iran is ongoing.”
A senior diplomat familiar with the inquiry said Iran’s cooperation “has been improving all the time”.
Iran agreed at the May 20 meeting in the Iranian capital to address two other issues that are part of the IAEA’s investigation by late August, a potentially important step forward for the agency’s efforts to look into the allegations.
Iran expert Ali Vaez described the IAEA’s latest quarterly report as one of its “most positive ... on Iran’s nuclear program in the past few years”. Vaez, of the International Crisis Group think-tank, added, “When it gets to a sensitive issue like PMD, one step at a time is good walking”.