Gharibabadi: IAEA is not independent

June 7, 2022 - 21:9

TEHRAN— Kazem Gharibabadi, who previously served as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Iran to the international organizations in Vienna, attended a special talk show on national TV late on Monday.

Gharibabadi then answered questions about the recent report about Iran’s nuclear program by Rafael Grossi, the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to the Board of Governors (BoG), and the draft resolution provided by France, Britain, Germany, and the United States against Iran.

“You are aware that the Agency has been submitting two reports to each BoG meeting for almost 3 years. One of the reports focuses on the verification of the implementation of the 2015 nuclear deal obligations, while the other one is a report on the Non-Proliferation Treaty Safeguards of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” said Gharibabadi, the current chief Iran’s Human Rights Headquarters. 

"I think there are two main reasons why the IAEA has put this issue on its agenda as a major issue," he said, adding that one reason is the constant political pressure on the IAEA, which is clearly from the United States, some Western countries and the Israeli regime. 

“In fact, it encompasses three spectrums. A spectrum that has always been hostile to the Islamic Republic and the people of Iran. A group that is owed to Iran in the JCPOA for not fulfilling its actions and obligations under the deal, and a spectrum that is the Zionist regime, which has nuclear weapons and is not a member of the NPT,” the former diplomat and legal exert explained. 

IAEA DG approach is political

Noting that the IAEA director general takes a political approach toward technical nuclear issues, Gharibabadi stated that another reason for this was that Grossi has strong political tendencies and this cannot be denied. 

“The reports of all IAEA chiefs have been influenced by political pressures, but some of the IAEA's positions are also due to the political approaches of the IAEA chiefs,” noted the former Iranian ambassador to the IAEA. 

Regarding the importance of the draft resolution, the current human rights chief said that experts and observers in the nuclear issue themselves know that the issues of Safeguards are not a cause for concern. He added if uranium particles have been found in one or two places more than two decades ago, Iran has provided the necessary and sufficient explanations and cooperated in that regard.

He continued, “In one of the sites, they claimed to have found depleted uranium, which was also a non-nuclear place and was sampled by the Agency. The Agency itself informed us that this uranium was of the type of uranium discovered in one of the countries with nuclear weapons, not because it is used in nuclear weapons, but because it originated there.”

According to Iran’s studies, Gharibabadi said, when the Isfahan steel factory was launched before the Islamic Revolution, one of these countries was active in that place.

“All this data was provided to the Agency, but again they tried to keep the issue open politically. Obviously, this is just an excuse,” he noted. 

He continued by saying that issues related to the past have once been completely closed by the Board of Governors.

In response to why the IAEA does not accept Iran’s explanation, the former representative to the IAEA said the UN body has “no independent role.”

“If there was no political pressure on the IAEA, the possibility of resolving the issue between Iran and the IAEA was very high, because our explanations of these places are technically and scientifically valid. For example, in the case of maintaining some disks, which is not a confidential matter, but because it was mentioned in the Agency’s report, we gave access to the Agency many times, but it was not convinced and repeatedly insisted on its own mistake, and we said that these disks do not exist. The Agency finally closed the issue recently, because the explanations of the Islamic Republic of Iran were convincing,” he exemplified. 

Iran doesn’t need to be secretive 

Elsewhere in the talk show, the expert posed a question to Grossi.

“Why shouldn't the director general of the Agency close such a small issue? Earlier, the Agency claimed that Iran had carried out clean-up operations at the site where the depleted uranium particles were found. When he saw the scene in that place, the sentence he told me was that when we see satellite images and the information we get, it means cleansing, but when I see the environment, it is not cleansing. So what causes these pressures? The political approach of the director general of the Agency? Political pressure? Both. Iran does not need to be secretive. Iran has all the nuclear technologies,” he noted. 

According to the human rights chief, legally speaking, the resolutions of the Agency are not necessarily mandatory even if they are passed.

“I hope that the Western countries and the U.S. will come to their senses and refuse to formally submit this resolution, because they know that this will complicate the situation, and I hope that they won’t do this destructive act. I am against any resolution against the Islamic Republic of Iran, whether in the Board of Governors, the Security Council or the UN Human Rights Council,” the human rights chief said. 

He added that the authorities in Iran should make every effort to prevent the adoption of such resolutions, because Iran is not entitled to receive the resolution, as it is the most transparent country in the field of nuclear activities. 

“Even if it is ratified, it has no legal status in the system of international organizations, but it can be an important achievement for them in terms of psychological war and in terms of strengthening the political positions against the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Gharibabadi underscored. 

About possible adoption of the draft resolution, Gharibabadi said, “They themselves know how destructive their action will be and will seriously damage the initiatives on the Vienna negotiations table. Hence, if such a resolution cannot be prevented, the cost of issuing it must be borne by its drafters.”

Regarding the remarks of Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian in response to the possible issuance of the resolution, the expert on nuclear issues said that he is not in a position to comment on these remarks. 

“As an expert, I say that if such a destructive political action is taken against the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iran will naturally can take the necessary technical decisions,” he outlined. 

Gharibabadi went on to say that Iran has always exercised restraint in the nuclear issue. 

“On the other hand, the recording of data continues, and it is up to the relevant authorities to check whether they should take action in this area or not. It should be noted that according to the roadmap drawn up between the director general of the Agency and the director general of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, a delegation has been exchanged between Iran and the Agency several times since March and detailed answers and reports were given to the Agency,” he noted, adding that the IAEA was supposed to close these issues in a report to the current meeting of the Board of Governors.

Iran is the most transparent country in terms of nuclear activities

He also noted that Iran is subject to 20 percent of the IAEA inspections worldwide, and this shows that Iran is the most transparent country in terms of nuclear activities.

“The draft resolution was originally written by three European countries. Which action should we believe? Their efforts to revive the JCPOA or their contradictory actions that send different messages to the Islamic Republic? The Russian envoy took a good position on the draft so that the Europeans, instead of moving towards a political resolution, would redouble their efforts to address Iran's concerns and bring an understanding closer,” Gharibabadi underlined. 

He reminded that in the recent report of the IAEA it is said that if these issues are not resolved, the IAEA will not be able to recognize the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program. 

“Does Iran have the right to make a fundamental decision about the Agency inspections and reduce this 20% to a few percent? If the Agency is to treat Iran in such a political way, we must also put more serious measures on the agenda,” Gharibabadi offered. 

Grossi’s visit to Tel Aviv was a fatal blow to IAEA professionalism

Regarding Grossi's visit to the occupied territories, Gharibabadi said, “Mr. Grossi's visit to the Zionist regime in Israel was also a fatal blow to the Agency, its professionalism and independence. Despite our criticism of Yukiya Amano’s performance, during his 2010 visit to occupied Palestine, he called on the regime's officials to sign the NPT, or in his 2014 meeting with the regime's president in Vienna, he called for a Middle East free of nuclear weapons. Grossi did not even dare to ask the regime to join the NPT and accept the safeguards of the IAEA.”

He added that even if the resolution is adopted by the IAEA board, he would personally find it unlikely that the Security Council will enter the matter immediately. 


 

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