Iran says the upcoming visit to the Arak heavy-water production plant by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is not part of a recent nuclear deal between Tehran and six major world powers.
“Iran has not invited the agency to visit its nuclear facilities under the Geneva agreement,” Iran’s Ambassador to the IAEA Reza Najafi told ISNA Thursday.
“Iran has, only within the framework of an agreement between Tehran and the IAEA, called on inspectors to come to the country on December 8 to visit the Arak heavy-water production facility, and it (Tehran) has made no request for the presence of the inspectors in Iran and the inspection of [its] nuclear facilities under the Geneva agreement,” he noted.
On Thursday, IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said that Iran had invited the agency to visit the Arak heavy-water production plant on December 8.
The upcoming visit comes after Tehran and the UN nuclear body signed a joint statement earlier this month under which Tehran agreed, on a voluntary basis, to allow IAEA inspectors to visit the Arak heavy-water plant.
“This joint statement outlines a roadmap that clarifies bilateral cooperation on the outstanding issues,” Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi said in a joint press conference with Amano after the signing of the agreement in Tehran on November 11.
He said the statement included an annex with six articles, adding that Tehran’s cooperation with the IAEA was within the framework of the Safeguards Agreement.
This will be the first time for the IAEA to visit the plant since August 2011.
Under the IAEA Safeguards Agreement, Iran is not obliged to allow such inspections. However, under the new deal between Iran and the UN nuclear agency, Tehran will, on a voluntary basis, also allow the Agency’s inspectors access to the Gachin uranium mine in Bandar Abbas in southern Iran.
On November 24, Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the US, France, Russia, Chaina and Britain – plus Germany sealed an interim deal in the Swiss city of Geneva to pave the way for the full resolution of the West’s decade-old dispute with Iran over its nuclear energy program.