Nuclear chief: It’s necessary that IAEA maintain independence and professionalism

September 20, 2021 - 21:4
Terrorist acts against nuclear facilities need to be condemned by IAEA and member states, Eslami suggests

TEHRAN — Mohammad Eslami, chief of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), says it is essential that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) avoid a political approach toward Iran’s nuclear program, advising the UN nuclear watchdog to act independently and professionally.

“It is necessary that the IAEA avoid politicization and maintain its independence, impartiality and professionalism,” Eslami told the 65th General Conference of the IAEA on Monday which is attended by representatives of 171 countries. 

Eslami, who has visited Vienna, also said Iran is determined to continue its peaceful nuclear program. He added no one can stop Iran’s nuclear activities that are continuing in accordance with international regulations.

“JCPOA is a clear example of Iran’s goodwill”

Iran’s new nuclear chief criticized the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, saying that the U.S. exit breached UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

The following is an excerpt of Eslami’s address to the IAEA conference:

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was concluded in order to remove the impediments of Iran’s progress, is a clear example of Iran’s goodwill which the United States not only violated with complete disregard, but also through its unilateral policies, violated provisions of the JCPOA and UNSC resolution 2231 and withdrew from the Deal. The so-called maximum pressure policy was doomed to fail and the U.S. should abandon its addiction to unilateral sanctions and respect international law.

As a result of the unilateral policies, the U.S. violated the text and spirit of the JCPOA and UNSC resolution 2231 and withdrew from the Deal.

Unfortunately, the U.S. has not sufficed to re-imposing its previously lifted unilateral sanctions, but also exerted and continues to exert pressures on the others, be it public or private, to follow suit, in defiance of the UNSC Resolution 2231 (2015). These pressures and sanctions are not necessarily restricted to trade-related matters, but also extended to the peaceful and humanitarian applications of the nuclear science and technology, even by imposing sanctions on radiopharmaceutical production facilitates and Iran’s Nuclear Regulatory Body, in contradiction with the letters and spirit of the IAEA Statute. Such an irresponsible and inhuman behavior by the U.S. is endangering the lives of hundreds of thousands of patients in dire need of those radiopharmaceuticals.

Despite all difficulties, the Islamic Republic of Iran, promised and assured by the remaining parties of implementation of their commitments, decided to remain in the deal and continue to constructively and closely work with the Agency, while not benefiting from the deal. This fact has been verified by the IAEA for 15 consecutive times.

Although, Iran has always cooperated with the Agency, at the same time, it is necessary that the IAEA avoids politicization and maintain its independence, impartiality and professionalism.

“Israel continues to assassinate nuclear scientists and thereby endangering integrity and credibility of NPT and IAEA.”

We reiterate our conviction that the main remedy for the existing threats emanating from the nuclear weapons, lies within full and verifiable nuclear disarmament. We call for full implementation of Article VI of NPT and express our deep regret that not only the nuclear weapon States stand firm on retaining their arsenals and delivery systems, but also some of them actively pursue to modernize them.

Success in achieving global security, first and foremost, depends on the effective compliance of nuclear-weapon states with their obligations under NPT, including through desisting discriminatory approaches and policies. We believe, as a matter of principle, that the meaningful promotion of global and regional peace and stability hinges, inter alia, on disarmament alongside with strengthening of the non-proliferation regime.

Iran as the initiator of establishing a nuclear weapon free zone in the Middle East since 1974, reiterates its deep concern over Israeli clandestine military nuclear program.

Unfortunately, despite the adoption of the resolution of the NPT Review Conference in 1995 and also its followed-on Action Plans in 2000 and 2010, the Zionist regime still has not put its nuclear activities and facilities under the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement of the Agency, continued its terrorist acts against peaceful nuclear installations, assassinated nuclear scientists and thereby endangering stability and the security of the region as well as the integrity and credibility of the NPT and the IAEA.

Nuclear safety has always been among our highest priorities and we attach great importance to strengthening the relevant safety regulations. The Islamic Republic of Iran reaffirms that the responsibility for nuclear safety and nuclear security rest, entirely with the Member States.

Simultaneously, Iran’s nuclear safety regulatory has established a good cooperation and assistance linkage with the IAEA, which we sincerely appreciate its support. Iran is also committed to take advantage of lessons learnt by other countries including through actively participating in, and holding workshops and technical meetings in this regard.

On the nuclear security, we believe that the undertaken measures should neither hamper the international cooperation in the field of peaceful nuclear activities, nor should it undermine the established responsibilities of the Agency under its Technical Cooperation Program. We believe that issues related to terrorism and cyber-attacks are the most significant nuclear security threats. The sabotage and terrorist acts against nuclear facilities need to be condemned by the Agency and its Member States. As you know, my country’s IAEA safeguarded installations have been under sabotage and terrorist attacks for several times. It is clear that Iran will defend itself by all possible means and manners, but it is a necessity that the world community unequivocally and strongly condemn and take a stand on the act of terrorism against safeguarded nuclear installations.

In conclusion, we look forward to a day when the motto of peaceful use of nuclear energy for all and nuclear weapon for none, is universally recognized and materialized. This message, if realized, would accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world.

I would also like to stress that Iran is cradle of civilization and a peace-loving country which historically has contributed to the global science and technology. In this context, we are determined to pursue our nuclear program and activities which are exclusively for peaceful purposes and as stated by our President during SHANGHAI Summit on 17th September 2021, “nothing could halt the Iranian peaceful nuclear activities which will be conducted in the framework of international rules and regulations”.