Iran warns IAEA against adopting resolution

March 2, 2021 - 21:41

TEHRAN – Several Iranian officials have warned the UN nuclear watchdog as well as the West against adopting a resolution against Iran at the session of the International Atomic Energy Agency's Board of Governors.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned that any hostile move by the IAEA’s Board of Governors against the Islamic Republic of Iran would further complicate the situation around the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting with members of the Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Committee on Monday, Zarif said the adoption of an anti-Iran resolution at the IAEA board will mess up the current situation.

“The Europeans have started a wrong move in support of the U.S. at the (IAEA) Board of Governors,” Zarif told reporters, adding that the Western countries’ measure could further complicate the situation, according to Fars News.

According to Zarif, Iran has already informed the IAEA Board of Governors of the potential consequences of the Westerners’ move.

“We have provided the necessary explanations about the current situation to all members of the Board of Governors,” Zarif said, warning, “We hope that reason will prevail, otherwise we have our own solutions.”

Earlier on Sunday, Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) director Ali Akbar Salehi also had warned the IAEA board against adopting a resolution against Iran, saying that such a hostile move would prompt Iran to reciprocate. 

“In case the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency adopts an anti-Iran resolution due to the suspension of the Additional Protocol, we will give a proper response,” Salehi said. 

Salehi pointed to the recent deal between Iran and the IAEA on how to continue cooperation in light of Iran’s decision to implement a parliamentary nuclear law obligating the Iranian government to cease the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The nuclear law, officially called “Strategic Action to Lift Sanctions and Protect the Nation’s Rights,” stipulates that if the remaining parties to the JCPOA – Germany, France, China, Russia and the UK- failed to facilitate Iran’s oil exports and the return of Iranian oil revenues in two months, the Iranian government would be obligated to stop inspections beyond the IAEA safeguards, including the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol, which allows unannounced and intensive inspections of nuclear sites.

The IAEA chief paid a visit to Iran a few days before the law was implemented. He succeeded in securing a deal with Iran that would ensure the IAEA access to Iranian nuclear sites. 

Under the deal, the AEOI and the IAEA agreed to continue cooperation in a new way.

“In order for the Agency to continue its verification and monitoring activities, the AEOI and the IAEA agreed: 1. That Iran continues to implement fully and without limitation its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA as before. 2. To a temporary bilateral technical understanding, compatible with the Law, whereby the IAEA will continue with its necessary verification and monitoring activities for up to 3 months (as per technical annex). 3. To keep the technical understanding under regular review to ensure it continues to achieve its purposes,” according to a joint statement issued by the IAEA and the AEOI following the signing of the deal on February 21.

Salehi said the deal has a confidential part. “The appendix to this statement is confidential,” the nuclear chief stated. “No specific conditions have been made in this regard, and according to the detailed information about the list of facilities and monitoring cameras mentioned in this appendix and also due to security considerations and the need to hide the location of key facilities in Iran, this appendix will remain confidential.”

Salehi also said Iran has sent a letter to the IAEA warning it against adopting a resolution against Iran.

Iranian officials did not give detail about the content of the letter. But Reuters claimed that Iran has warned that it will put an end to the recent deal the IAEA struck with Iran if the West adopts the resolution.

“Iran perceives this move as destructive and considers it as an end to the Joint Understanding of 21 February 2021 between the Agency and the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Iran purportedly said in its letter to the IAEA, according to Reuters.

Bloomberg reported on Thursday that U.S. diplomats circulated a document on Thursday which lists Washington’s grievances and orders Iran to fully cooperate with inspectors. The proposed resolution would “underscore strong concern at the IAEA’s findings” and “express the board’s deepening concern with respect to Iran’s cooperation,” Bloomberg said, adding that this resolution would suggest that Iran could be providing incomplete information on its nuclear activities, something that has potentially serious consequences, including another referral to the United Nations Security Council.

Government spokesman Ali Rabiei also said on Tuesday that if the Board of Governors adopts a resolution, Iran will review its agreement with the IAEA.

‘The West’s move is unconstructive’

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Seyed Abbas Araghchi on Monday lambasted the U.S. for trying to get the IAEA’s Board of Governors to pass the resolution against Iran, underlining that this move is non-constructive and threatening the atmosphere created for diplomacy, especially after Iran and the IAEA reached an understanding recently. 

Araqchi made the remarks in the fourth round of political talks between Iran and Austria, which was held through video conference with Austrian Secretary-General for Foreign Affairs in the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal.

“The removal of all the illegal and oppressive sanctions on Iran is the basic condition of Iran for going back to the implementation of its JCPOA commitments,” Araghchi pointed out. 

The U.S. and Iran are locked in a bitter dispute over how to revive the JCPOA. Iran has said time and again that the only way to revive the deal is for Washington to lift all the sanctions the Trump administration imposed on Iran. But the Biden administration, while admitting that Trump’s policies against Iran were wrong, has so far refused to change these policies. The U.S. instead sought to ramp up the pressure on Iran by pushing for the adoption of a resolution against Iran at the IAEA’s board. 

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reiterated this position on Monday. He said he is confident that the United States will finally have to kneel down before the Iranian nation and abandon its sanctions.

Rouhani referred to the failure of former U.S. President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” against Iran as well as his defeat in the U.S. election as a victory for the Iranian nation.

 ‘Butcher and murderer was toppled’

“That butcher and murderer was toppled, and the new U.S. administration has confessed four times that the previous administration’s maximum pressure was wrong,” Rouhani said, describing them as two achievements for Iran, according to the official website of the Iranian government.

“It is our biggest success in history that, as a result of the Iranian nation’s resilience, they admitted their pressure and sanctions have been futile,” the president said.

He also vowed that the Islamic Republic will be in a better situation this year in terms of the removal of sanctions and its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m confident that the world and the U.S. will have to kneel down before this great nation, and abandon the cruel sanctions,” he added.

‘No change in Iran’s policies unless Washington lifts sanctions’ 

Also on Monday, Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, stated that there will be no bilateral talks or any change in Iran’s policies unless Washington corrects its wrong policies and return to compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal.

“We have no bilateral talks with the United States, and unless the US corrects its wrong path, there will be no change in Iran's policies,” the spokesman said.

“Up to now, almost two months since the Biden administration took office, they have not officially declared their return to the JCPOA, even verbally. This is really a historical shame for Mr. Biden, who had set up his presidential campaign in a different way, but in practice, we are seeing a different administration,” he noted.

“Nice words have been uttered sporadically here and there, and we have heard those words, but we want action, and don't base our policies on words. In other words, we will reciprocate the other side's action proportionately,” Khatibzadeh added.

SM/PA
 

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