IAEA reassures Iran about impartiality
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has reassured Iran that political developments, particularly in the United States, will not influence the organization’s reporting on the Islamic Republic.
IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano told Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi at the Iranian Embassy in Rome on Monday that the Agency based its reporting on objective assessments.
The two exchanged views on the latest political developments related to the nuclear agreement between Iran and six other countries, which is known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and recent US activities concerning the accord.
The IAEA is tasked with monitoring the technical aspects of the deal, which the administration of US President Donald Trump has been opposed to. Washington, under Trump, has engaged in a range of activities to undermine the deal, including by attempting to sway IAEA.
“What is important to us,” Amano said in the Monday meeting, “is objectively assessing countries’ nuclear activities and obligations toward the IAEA, which forms and will form the basis of statements and reports by the Agency.”
“From that standpoint, political developments will not be affecting the Agency’s assessment,” he added.
Amano and Salehi are in Rome to attend the XXth Edoardo Amaldi Conference – International Cooperation for Enhancing Nuclear Safety, Security, Safeguards and Non-Proliferation.
Earlier on Monday, the IAEA chief once again confirmed that Iran was living up to its commitments under the nuclear agreement.
On Friday, he had rejected criticism that the IAEA was being “too soft” on Iran.
The JCPOA was reached between Iran and the P5+1 countries — namely the US, Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany — in July 2015 and took effect in January 2016. Under the deal, Iran undertook to apply certain limits to its nuclear program in exchange for the termination of all nuclear-related sanctions against Tehran.
The Trump administration took over in January 2017, a year after the JCPOA had come into force. He had long railed against the deal and took his anti-JCPOA rage to the White House. Trump is reportedly planning to “decertify” Iran’s compliance with the deal this week, setting in motion a process at the US Congress to decide whether to restore sanctions that the US has agreed to waive as long as Iran is compliant with the deal.
The IAEA is the only official institution in charge of verifying Iranian compliance, and it has repeatedly verified Iran’s adherence to its contractual obligations.
The potential re-imposition of the nuclear-related sanctions on Iran would be a major breach of the JCPOA by the US.