AEOI Chief: IAEA's Oversighting of Other Countries' Nuclear Activities Much Less Than Iran
TEHRAN (FNA)- Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Mohammad Eslami said that his country’s nuclear activities are to be inspected 10 times more than other states while the size of Tehran’s nuclear facilities is about 2% of the world’s nuclear sites.
Eslami made the remarks in an interview with Al-Jazeera news television network, emphasizing the good interactions between Tehran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The AEOI head stated that the United Nations atomic body conducts ten times more inspections of the Iranian nuclear installations than those of other countries.
He added that this is while Iran’s nuclear facilities account for some 2% of the whole world’s.
The official stressed that it’s not reasonable for us to be checked ten times more than other nations.
Eslami said nearly 120 IAEA inspectors are trusted by Iran and it would be to the point if Tehran rejected some of the inspectors.
“The decision to reject some does not mean Iran fails to cooperate with the Agency,” Eslami averred, adding, “We cooperate with the Agency and such cooperation continues daily, but some inspectors may be rejected over their performance, this is normal and common.”
The remarks came as tensions between Tehran and the IAEA have been rising after Iran's move to bar a number of the nuclear watchdog's inspectors from being assigned to the country.
IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi had criticized Tehran for effectively barring several of its most experienced inspectors from monitoring Iran's nuclear program.
The nuclear agency's chief described the move as "disproportionate and unprecedented", claiming that Iran's unilateral measure affects the IAEA's "normal planning and conduct" verification activities in the country and "openly contradicts the collaboration that should exist between the nuclear agency and Tehran".
In response, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kana'ani slammed Washington and the three European parties to the 2015 nuclear deal of misusing the IAEA to achieve their own purposes, saying the UN body has been politicized despite Tehran’s positive and constructive interaction with the nuclear agency.
He linked the move to an attempt by the US and three European states to misuse the UN body “for their own political purposes”.
"Unfortunately, despite Iran's positive, constructive and continuous interaction with the IAEA, the three European countries and the United States abused the Agency's Board of Governors for their own political purposes with … the aim of damaging the atmosphere of cooperation between Iran and the Agency," he added, referring to the UK, France and Germany.
The diplomat stated that Iran has previously warned against the consequences of such efforts to politicize the UN nuclear agency.
He reiterated that Tehran made the decision in accordance with Article 9 of the agreement between Iran and the IAEA for the application of safeguards in connection with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
The spokesman once again called on the Western countries to stop abusing international organizations, including the IAEA, and allow such world bodies to carry out their "professional and neutral" activities under no political pressure.
“Of course, Iran will continue its positive interaction within the framework of the bilateral agreements that have been made, and emphasise the necessity of the nuclear agency’s neutrality,” he continued.
Iran’s act was a response to a call led by the US, the UK, France and Germany at the IAEA’s Board of Governors for Tehran to work immediately with the UN watchdog on issues including explaining "uranium traces found at undeclared sites". The IAEA’s Board of Governors on Wednesday issued a Western-sponsored statement which accused Iran of non-compliance with its safeguards commitments. The document, signed by 62 member states of the agency, called upon Iran to take steps to address outstanding safeguards issues and provide the IAEA with information concerning its new nuclear facilities.
Tehran has repeatedly rejected all accusations levelled by the West over the existence of undeclared nuclear activities or material in Iran, describing the allegations by the US and its European allies as a propaganda campaign against the country's peaceful nuclear program.
Iran proved the peaceful nature of its nuclear program to the world by signing the 2015 nuclear deal with six world powers. However, Washington’s exit in May 2018 and its subsequent re-imposition of sanctions against Tehran left the future of the agreement in limbo.
Iran has always had full cooperation with the IAEA and allowed it to visit the country’s nuclear sites, but calls the nuclear agency's approach unconstructive and destructive. Tehran has asked the watchdog to avoid politicizing the issue and focus on technical aspects in line with the organization’s mandate.
Iranian officials have repeatedly called on Grossi to stop Israeli-influenced attitude, and emphasized that Tehran would never surrender to the political behavior of the UN nuclear watchdog that is affected by the Zionist pressures.
Tehran has on many occasions voiced its readiness to resolve differences with the UN nuclear body within a framework of constructive and mutual interaction and technical collaboration.