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Iran envoy: Nuclear US not entitled to talk about nonproliferation concerns

Iran’s permanent representative to international organizations in Vienna says the United States, which owns thousands of nuclear warheads and is the sole country to have used nuclear weapons, is in no position to talk about nonproliferation concerns.

Kazem Gharibabadi made the remarks in a Thursday address to the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in response to allegations by the US delegation to the agency that Iran should be exposed to a robust and the same high standards for verification as others.

“What kind of standards they are referring to?! American ones, as a result of which the international norms and regulations were ruined!” Gharibabadi asked.

“The US cannot be seen as honest in its claims about having nonproliferation concerns, when itself has thousands of nuclear warheads, proliferated such weapons and the related know-how, used it against a non-nuclear weapon State, and threatens the others with the possible use of them. Indeed, such a country is not even entitled to talk about no-proliferation concerns,” Iran’s envoy said.

Gharibabadi added, “On the same line, Israeli regime is the only one in the Middle East which is not a member of any of the weapons of mass destruction instruments, and developed various types of such weapons. How much the US is concerned about this threatening situation?”

He noted that the nuclear agency’s officials, including its late director general, Yukiya Amano, have asserted that the landmark nuclear deal clinched by Iran and six world powers in 2015 constituted an exemplary model for the verification regime, which would hopefully be implemented it in other members of the agency.

“The JCPOA is a concrete highly elaborated deal composed of balanced commitments made by its participants and like any other deals, it is supposed to benefit its participants. In fact, with the persistent United States irresponsible conducts, through adopting malign policies and imposing unlawful unilateral sanctions, the deal has lost its balance of commitments, leading to the loss of the perceived benefits for Iran,” the Iranian envoy emphasized.

He was referring by abbreviation to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the official name of the historic nuclear deal that came about between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 group of countries, the US, the UK, France, Russia, and China plus Germany. The US’ allies in the pact, whose negotiation process was monitored by the European Union, are also known as the E3.

The administration of the now-outgoing US President Donald Trump left the deal in 2018 under its trademark policy of “maximum pressure” against Iran.

Washington then reinstated the sanctions that it had lifted once it became a JCPOA member, and also started to cow others into committing to the bans and stopping their trade with Tehran.

The E3 have bowed under the American pressure, ceasing their trade activities with Islamic Republic. Together with the US, the trio have thus been preventing Tehran from drawing on one of the main presumed objectives of the JCPOA, namely opening up of trade channels between Tehran and the world.

“Therefore, … the United States shall bear full responsibility for the consequences of its wrongful acts in clear contradiction with the Charter of the United Nations and the provisions of the Security Council Resolution 2231 (2015),” which endorses the nuclear deal, he said.

Iran’s envoy went on to note, “Although the US Administration didn’t abide by its obligations completely, … the situation was aggravated when the US Administration announced its unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA on 8 May 2018. That very announcement and the subsequent coercive measures taken by the US Administration and lack of full and effective implementation of the commitments by EU/E3 members enshrined in the JCPOA to remedy the situation have brought about serious challenges to the Deal.”

Gharibabadi then took to task the European members of the JCPOA for failing to fulfill their commitments following Washington’s withdrawal from the deal, saying, “Unfortunately, the EU/E3 didn’t fulfill its sanctions-related commitments, and commitments related to the civil nuclear cooperation with Iran … either. Hence, calling on Iran to fully implement its commitments while knowing the fact that Iran’s legitimate benefits from the deal have not been realized, is neither reasonable nor a practical approach.”

“I would also like to reiterate the already pronounced position of the Islamic Republic of Iran that whenever the lost balance between the rights and commitments of the JCPOA participants as stipulated by the deal is restored through lifting sanctions and implementing commitments in this field, Iran is ready to reverse its remedial actions,” he noted.

After the US’ departure from the JCPOA, the Islamic Republic began adopting gradual nuclear countermeasures to retaliate for the US and others’ non-commitment to the nuclear accord.

Tehran said in January it is suspending its commitments under the deal and would abandon restrictions on uranium enrichment and other activities unless US sanctions are lifted.

Iran’s envoy concluded his remarks by saying, “The Islamic Republic of Iran does not deem any value on unfounded and demagogic noises and claims by the US and Israeli regime, which their main purpose is to put pressure on and divert the agency and the member states to achieve their political interests.”

Washington and Tel Aviv have brought the IAEA under immense pressure to have it help them demonize Iran’s nuclear energy program.

The nuclear agency has been requesting access to Iranian sites, which the Israeli spy service has alleged are related to the Islamic Republic’s nuclear work. This is while the Statute of the IAEA forbids it from exercising partiality in any way or acting on information relayed to it from intelligence agencies.

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