Envoy: Iran’s Retaining of Data of IAEA Cameras out of Good Will
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Vienna-based International Organizations Kazzem Qaribabadi said that Iran agreed with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s demand to keep the data recorded by the IAEA’s cameras out of good will and not as an obligation.
Qaribabadi was speaking in a televised program on Saturday in reaction to an earlier report by IAEA’s Secretary-General Rafael Grossi.
Grossi had reported to members of the IAEA’s Board of Governors that Iran had been unresponsive to the agency’s demand from it to keep the data recorded by its cameras at some of the country’s nuclear sites.
In February, Iran stopped providing the data to the IAEA, acting on a parliamentary law that has obliged the country to retaliate to the United States and its Western allies’ non-commitment to a 2015 nuclear agreement. It, however, reached an understanding with the IAEA to retain the footage and trust it with the agency only after the Western allies resumed their cooperation with the nuclear deal.
Qaribabadi reminded that Iran had been retaining the data from the cameras “solely based on good will, and not as part of its obligations towards the agency.”
The Islamic Republic took the decision to keep the data only out of “political considerations” and in line with its commitment to international safeguards, he said. “Iran is not bound by any commitment to implement the agency’s demand,” the envoy noted.
In that sense, “the agency had no duty to report on the expired [understanding] agreement” to the Board of Governors, Qaribabadi said.
No earlier than on Friday, the Iranian diplomat had similarly laid into the UN agency for making excessive demands on the Islamic Republic.
“Such remarks are pregnant with political messages,” the envoy said, referring to Grossi’s report.
He was repeating the Islamic Republic’s grievance about the agency’s submitting to the anti-Iran political pressure that is applied to it by the US and others.
“We have said this repeatedly that there would be no agreement until our demands were met,” Qaribabadi concluded, reiterating the country’s assertion that Tehran’s cooperation was conditioned on Washington and others’ resumption of their duties towards the nuclear accord.
The US, under former president Donald Trump, unilaterally withdrew participation in the agreement and re-imposed sanctions against Iran, which the accord had lifted.
The Trump administration subsequently launched what it touted as a campaign of “maximum pressure” against Iran, hoping to force the Islamic Republic to accept large-scale limits on its nuclear program and missile work, among other things.
The administration of US President Joe Biden has verbally renounced that policy and admitted to its failure, while expressing a willingness to return to the Iran deal. However, it has so far stopped short of taking any concrete steps to that end and retained the sanctions on the Islamic Republic.