Rouhani says U.S. call for UN nuclear watchdog meeting is ‘farcical’

July 10, 2019 - 13:53

TEHRAN – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that the U.S. call for an emergency meeting of the UN atomic watchdog on Iran’s nuclear actions is a “farcical story”.

“They called for an emergency meeting of the Board of Governors to discuss why Iran has abandoned some of its nuclear commitments under the JCPOA which is a farcical story and unprecedented in the world’s political history,” he said during a cabinet meeting.

Iran announced on Sunday that it has started enriching uranium to a higher purity than the 3.67%, as the Europeans missed a 60-day deadline by Tehran to devise a concrete mechanism to protect the country from the U.S. sanctions.

Reuters reported on Friday that the U.S. has called on the International Atomic Energy Agency’s 35-nation Board of Governors to discuss Iran. The meeting was scheduled to be held on July 10.

Rouhani noted that the U.S. has described the JCPOA as a very bad deal and quit it and ironically expresses concern over Iran’s moves in reducing its commitments.

“We should be worried about the U.S. who violated the JCPOA as a whole,” he added.

He said that the Europeans should be concerned about the U.S. who violated the JCPOA and many other international commitments.

Rouhani said that Iran’s nuclear program is for peaceful purposes and the country’s act in reducing its obligations is based on the mechanism specified in the JCPOA.

“Our first objective was to preserve the JCPOA and invite others to logic, morality and respect for the international agreements,” he noted.

Pointing to the U.S. officials’ claims that they seek to negotiate with Iran, Rouhani said such claims are “wrong” and “deceptive”.

“If you are honest in what you say, you should remove all the sanctions and apologize to the Iranian people for the wrong actions you have done and return to your commitments,” Rouhani suggested.

‘UK action in seizing Iran’s oil tanker is disgraceful’

Rouhani also said that the UK action in seizing the Iranian oil tanker on behalf of the B-Team was “wrong”, “disgraceful”.

The B-Team includes White House national security advisor John Bolton, Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, and UAE Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed.

Rouhani said, “The British have started insecurity in sea and we hope that they would stop it and would not repeat it, because repeating it will cause insecurity in the world and is harmful to all.”

On July 4, British Royal Marines in Gibraltar stormed the Iran-operated supertanker Grace 1 off the coast of Gibraltar, seizing the 300,000-ton vessel based on the accusation that it was carrying oil to Syria in possible violation of the European Union’s sanctions on the war-torn Arab country.

Iran has said the act amounts to piracy.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday that British seizure of the oil tanker in constitutes a concrete example of “piracy” which has been done on behalf of the B-Team.

“UK’s unlawful seizure of a tanker with Iranian oil on behalf of #B_Team is piracy, pure and simple,” Zarif tweeted.

Britain has claimed it seized the supertanker because it was carrying oil for Syria in violation of the European Union sanctions.

In response Zarif said, “Iran is neither a member of the EU nor subject to any European oil embargo. Last I checked, EU was against extraterritoriality.”

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi on Sunday denied reports that the supertanker was carrying oil to Syria.

“Contrary to Britain’s announcement, the tanker was not bound for Syria, and the port mentioned is not capable of receiving such a tanker,” Araqchi told reporters at a news conference in Tehran.



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