'JCPOA is very much alive for the countries that are adhering to it'

Rafael Grossi says IAEA carried 400 inspections in Iran last year

October 2, 2020 - 21:27

TEHRAN — Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has said that the UN watchdog carried out more than 400 inspections in Iran last year.

"We carried out more than 400 inspections in Iran last year," Grossi said in an interview with Der Spiegel published on September 30.

The IAEA chief underlined that Iran demonstrated a “remarkable consistency” in its nuclear program over the past two decades.

He said the IAEA inspectors are always in Iran, 365 days a year 

On some claims that Iran would only need three and a half months to produce the uranium for a bomb, Grossi said, "We have determined that Iran has more enriched uranium today than it did two years ago. On the other hand, the quantities are still much smaller than in 2015, when the Iran deal was agreed to." 

"I respect these analyses, although I do not necessarily agree," he added, according to the Mehr news agency.

"We must be watchful, there’s no question about that. It is just as important to see things in perspective: Even if you have the necessary amount of uranium, that does not mean that you can immediately build a nuclear weapon," he noted.

He continued, "[Iran's nuclear] activity did decrease after the signing of the nuclear deal. But it never stopped completely. This is in no way unusual for a country that has signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty, provided we exercise our control function. The Iranian nuclear program is highly sophisticated, with a nuclear power plant for which there are plans to expand, research laboratories, and enrichment facilities. That’s why we have such a vast inspection regime."

On whether the JCPOA, the official name for the 2105 nuclear deal, is dead or not, the IAEA chief said, "It is very much alive for the countries that are adhering to it. Germany, France, Britain, Russia, China, and Iran have made clear that they find the agreement enormously important. There is a dispute because three Western countries claim Iran is violating it. Iran, in turn, is complaining of misconduct on the part of the other side. No one is doing anything - everyone wants us to continue with inspections."

‘It is an undeniable fact that nuclear energy is clean energy’

Grossi also said, “It is an undeniable fact that nuclear energy is clean energy, almost free of CO2 emissions. Today’s nuclear power plants save us two gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions per year in global electricity generation.” 

Iran has been insisting that its nuclear program is solely for civilian uses.

To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Iran plans to produce 20,000 megawatts of nuclear electricity for its growing consumption.
The UN nuclear watchdog also inspected the second of two alleged former atomic sites in Iran as agreed with Tehran last month in a deal that ended a standoff over access, the agency said on Wednesday.

The IAEA has not named either of the two undeclared sites.

“As part of an agreement with Iran to resolve safeguards implementation issues specified by the IAEA, the agency this week conducted a complementary access at the second location in the country and took environmental samples,” it said in a statement.

Those samples and others taken at the first site will be sent to labs and analyzed for traces of nuclear material since the agency’s main task is to account for all nuclear material in a country to ensure it is not being used to make weapons.

Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), confirmed the news of the inspection, saying he hopes it will stop the United States from taking advantage of the issue.

“We had a difference of opinion with the Agency and this difference was leading to an impasse due to political pressures. A country like the U.S. could take advantage of the continuation of these conditions,” he said.

“Therefore, after reviewing the situation, we voluntarily announced to the Agency that within a framework we will give you access to inspect these two sites once and for all.”


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