Iran urges ‘impartiality’ in IAEA reports on nuke program

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) should remain impartial towards Iran’s nuclear program, said Kazem Gharibabadi, Tehran’s representative to the international organisations in Vienna.

Gharibabadi’s remarks on Wednesday followed a report by IAEA chief Rafael Grossi released a day earlier, in which the latter alleged that Iran blocks access to some of its nuclear sites and continues to boost its stocks of uranium enriched above the percentage allowed in the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), reports Xinhua news agency.

All of Iran’s nuclear activities are in full compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the country’s commitments under the JCPOA as well as the safeguards agreement, Gharibabadi said.

“The IAEA must maintain its independence, impartiality and professionalism, and the IAEA members must seriously refrain from putting pressure on the agency for their political purposes.”

A law passed by Iran’s Parliament in December 2020 mandated the government to stop implementing the IAEA’s Additional Protocol if US sanctions were not lifted by February 23, 2021.

Iran and the IAEA reached a three-month temporary agreement on February 23 for the former to store video records of cameras monitoring its nuclear sites, and deliver those records to the IAEA only if and after US sanctions were lifted.

Iran extended the agreement for one more month on May 23.

No one can pressure Iran to halt its nuclear activities when US sanctions against Iran continues, Gharibabadi said.

The data recording agreement should be considered neither as an IAEA’s right nor Iran’s obligation, he added.

Also on Wednesday, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said that the “unconstructive” approach of the IAEA would disrupt the negotiation process that seeks to restore the JCPOA.

Iran’s serious cooperation with the IAEA is an indication of its commitment to transparency concerning nuclear activities, Raisi told Charles Michel, President of the European Council, during a phone call.

“It is natural that in the case of a unconstructive approach of the IAEA, it would be unreasonable to expect Iran to react constructively,” the President said, adding that “unconstructive moves would naturally disrupt the negotiation process as well”.

Raisi also criticised the continuation of US sanctions against Iran, saying that although former President Donald Trump has left the office, his pressure policy is maintained by the incumbent administration of Joe Biden.