Requirements for IAEA to move in direction of neutrality, professionalism

September 8, 2021 - 19:49

TEHRAN- The mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in connection with Iran's nuclear activities has a technical and confidential nature, but the political exploitation of the issue by some great powers is not only in conflict with independence, impartiality, and professionalism of the IAEA, it also will distort the IAEA's reputation as an institution with verifying task. 

On the eve of the meeting of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which will be held on September 13-17, attention is once again focused on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and Tehran-IAEA cooperation, IRNA reported on Wednesday. 
In particular, a new report by the International Atomic Energy Agency released last month has intensified speculation on issues such as the state of Tehran-IAEA cooperation, existing obstacles, and its prospects.

 in his latest report released on Tuesday, September 7, Rafael Grossi, the IAEA Director-General, said the IAEA's activities in Iran had been severely weakened compared to any other period since the signing of the JCPOA six years ago. 
He added that he was increasingly concerned about alleged Iran's unannounced nuclear sites and that Tehran needed to resolve these issues immediately.

Last month, the IAEA had referred to new-generation centrifuges and metal uranium reserves, and Grossi said that Iran had launched a new cascade of advanced centrifuges to enrich uranium to 60 percent; the issue was first reported by Reuters. Reuters also wrote that in addition to the 164 cascades of IR-6 centrifuges, Iran has now launched a new cascade of 153 "IR-4" centrifuges in Natanz.

In addition to issues related to cascade, there is another issue in the report, and that is the issue of increasing the degree of enrichment and reserves of metal uranium. According to IAEA, Iran has produced 200 grams of 20-percent-enriched metal uranium.

On Tuesday, simultaneously with the release of the IAEA new report, the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Kazem Gharibabadi, Iran's ambassador to the IAEA, reacted to it and said: "All Iran's nuclear activities, including enrichment at various levels and metal uranium production, are within the framework of Iran's nuclear rights under the Non-Proliferation Treaty and done in full compliance with safeguards obligations.
Iran cooperated closely with the IAEA since 2013 when the nuclear talks began until one-year anniversary of the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA.
Bloomberg News recently reported that it had obtained a 113-page copy of an IAEA report sent to diplomats; the version states that snap inspections have been carried out on average three times a month this year. According to the report, the Agency also increased the number of active inspectors in Iran to 285, a 6 percent increase in that year.

According to the report, these inspections are based on features such as random selection, unpredictability, and quick access, which strengthen their deterrent effect in the countries where the inspections take place. Earlier, in an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel, Grossi said that his organization had conducted more than 400 inspections in Iran in 2018.

The fulfillment of JCPOA-related obligations by Tehran is one side of the coin and the need for the other parties to adhere to their own obligations is other side. Despite the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol by Iran, the United States unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA, and the European parties to the agreement did not take a tangible step to save the deal and sufficed only to verbal support.

Therefore, according to the ratifications of the Supreme National Security Council, the Islamic Republic of Iran had no choice but to scale back its obligations in five steps, citing paragraphs 26 and 36 of the JCPOA. According to these paragraphs, if the other party does not adhere to its obligations, Iran has the right to suspend the implementation of its obligations in whole or in part.

Regarding cooperation between Iran and the IAEA, Iran suspended a voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol after the adoption of a law by the Iranian parliament called "Strategic Action for Lifting Sanctions and Protection of the Rights of the Iranian Nation". However, based on the ratification, Iran continues to cooperate with the IAEA.

Tehran and the IAEA reached an agreement late last year. The agreement, which was set to last three months, was extended for another month after it ended without tangible results and anti-Iranian sanctions were not lifted. Since there was no change in sanctions, Tehran avoided renewing it for a third time in July.
Political experts believe that unlike the term of the late IAEA chief Yukiya Amano, in the new era the UN body is influenced by Western powers, which, while ignoring 17 positive reports about Tehran's constructive cooperation and the West’s non-adherence to its commitments, seeks to magnify Iran's nuclear activities.

The IAEA under Grossi considers Iran's nuclear activities a threat to the world, while Tehran continues to cooperate with the IAEA in the framework of safeguards agreement. The IAEA, however, has remained silent on some nuclear weapons holders, such as the Zionist regime. The Zionist regime is not a member of the NPT and does not even allow the IAEA inspectors to inspect its nuclear facilities.
Barbara Slavin, an American foreign policy expert, tells the Tehran Times that “whenever I have a chance, I point out that Israel has about 90 nuclear weapons (according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute).

From the observers' point of view, the IAEA's politicization and U.S. insistence on continuing sanctions will lead to an increasing reduction in cooperation between Tehran and the organization. The deeper these differences, the more difficult it will be to reverse them. 
Therefore, it is expected that the United States will not use the IAEA to advance its policies, and the IAEA shall continue its mission while maintaining its independence, so as not to further undermine the JCPOA and the position of this watchdog body.

Now, on the eve of the meeting of the Board of Governors, Grossi must pay attention to the fact that Tehran's determination to live up to its commitments and Iran's long-term cooperation with the institution do not mean accepting unreasonable and one-sided demands. The Agency is expected to carry out its mission properly and not fall prey to the political game of the great powers in its assessments.

In this regard, on Monday, September 6, one day before the release of the new report of the IAEA, Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, warned in his presser about the upcoming meeting of the board. He said, “The upcoming meeting of the Board of Governors is an ordinary meeting. I emphasize that neither side should make a miscalculation and go in a direction that will affect the Vienna talks. Everyone should note that the political use of the Agency's technical platform will lead to a different response from Tehran.

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