The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has once again confirmed that Iran has lived up to its commitments under the 2015 landmark nuclear agreement it signed with the P5+1 group of countries.
“The nuclear-related commitments undertaken by Iran under the JCPOA (nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) are being implemented,” IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said in his introductory statement to the Board of Governors in Vienna, Austria, on Monday.
He added that his report on Verification and Monitoring in the Islamic Republic of Iran in light of United Nations Security Council resolution 2231 (2015) covers the activities conducted by the IAEA over the last few months to certify Iran’s commitment to its obligations as per the JCPOA.
Since the JCPOA Implementation Day in January 2016, the agency has been verifying and monitoring Iran’s implementation of its nuclear-related commitments under the nuclear deal, he noted.
“We fulfill this role in accordance with the modalities set out in the JCPOA, consistent with the Agency’s standard safeguards practices, and in an impartial and objective manner,” Amano said.
He emphasized that the UN nuclear agency would continue to verify the non-diversion of nuclear material declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement, adding, “Evaluations regarding the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran remain ongoing.”
Amano also stated that the IAEA would proceed with the implementation of the Additional Protocol in Iran, including “carrying out complementary accesses to sites and other locations,” as it does in other countries with additional protocols.
Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China – plus Germany signed the nuclear agreement on July 14, 2015 and started implementing it on January 16, 2016.
Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limitations on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.
The latest IAEA report came at a time that the US, which is a party to the agreement, seems to be laying out a case for abandoning it.
Speaking at a news conference in New York on August 25, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley called on the IAEA to request access to Iranian military sites, in what is regarded as an attempt by the US to undermine the multilateral nuclear deal.
Iran has dismissed the request as an attempt to derail the nuclear agreement.
The IAEA has consistently verified that Iran is in compliance since the deal started being implemented.
Amano: Iran fully implementing JCPOA, Additional Protocol
Following IAEA Board of Governors’ Monday meeting, the Agency’s head talked to reporters in Vienna, noting that Iran had completely implemented terms of the nuclear deal with the P5+1 group of countries.
Dismissing US criticism of the nuclear deal, Amano insisted that the Agency’s inspections in Iran were the world’s toughest and that Tehran was sticking to the accord.
“The nuclear-related commitments undertaken by Iran under (the 2015 nuclear deal) are being implemented,” Amano told reporters.
“The verification regime in Iran is the most robust regime which currently exists. We have increased the inspection days in Iran, we have increased inspector numbers … and the number of images has increased,” he said, adding, “From a verification point of view, it is a clear and significant gain.”
Elsewhere in his remarks Amano noted that the IAEA did not distinguish between civilian or military sites in its inspections and would ask for access when necessary.
He said the JCPOA and the Additional Protocol as well as transparency measures were being fully implemented in Iran.