By Payman Yazdani

IAEA Grossi not in position to demand new agreement with Iran

December 22, 2020 - 14:13

TEHRAN–Political scientist says IAEA is under pressure by the US and E3, adding that the IAEA head is not in a position to demand a new nuclear deal with Iran.

Recently the IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi in surprise remarks called for a new nuclear agreement between Iran and the US under the Biden administration.

Following his unexpected remarks, Iran has called on the International Atomic Energy Organization (IAEA) to remain professional and impartial.

To know more about the issue we reached out to Nader Entessar, professor emeritus of political science from the University of South Alabama.

Following is the full text of the interview:

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi has recently asked for a new nuclear agreement with Iran during Biden’s term in office. Is Mr. Grossi in a position to set conditions for the renewal of the JCPOA? How do you assess his comments?

Rafael Grossi is not in a position to demand a new nuclear agreement with Iran.  He is the head of a technical international organization whose powers are determined by the IAEA's charter and regulations as well as the IAEA's agreements with the member states.  I am not sure why Mr. Grossi decided to overstep his authority by making provocative political statements that do not serve any positive purpose.  Perhaps he has delusions of grandeur.  

Do you think that he is looking for a new mechanism for monitoring Iran’s nuclear program?

I think he is under pressure by both the United States and E3 countries to bring the IAEA's position on Iran with the latest turns and twists in the West's confrontation with Tehran and thus put more pressure on Iran to give the IAEA carte blanche in its already intrusive inspection activities inside the country.  Iran should respond formally and unambiguously to Mr. Grossi's latest utterance and disabuse him of his illusions.

Do you think that Biden will return to the JCPOA without putting new conditions on the table? What can those conditions be? And what do you think of Iran’s reaction?  

No.  Both Joe Biden and the main figures in his foreign policy team have been very clear about returning to the JCPOA as a first step to demand more concessions from Iran, especially in the areas of Iran's regional foreign policy and conventional defense capabilities.  The conditions the Biden team will be after include degrading Iran's deterrent defense capabilities, specifically Iran's missile capabilities, and ultimately turning Iran into a secondary and weak regional player.  I hope that Iran has learned a hard lesson from its experience with negotiation with the West over the JCPOA and does not make the same mistakes it made during the nuclear negotiations with the Obama administration.  The dictum, "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me" is very much applicable here.  

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