Nuclear Chief: Hostile Behaviors Reason for Iran’s Barring of IAEA Inspectors
TEHRAN (FNA)- Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Mohammad Eslami said that Tehran has withdrawn the designation of a number of the UN nuclear agency’s inspectors due to their “harsh and political behaviors”.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Eslami stressed Tehran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have continuous interaction in accordance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Safeguards Agreement.
He stated Iran has barred a few European inspectors with the IAEA from future activities in the country who have a history of “harsh and political behavior” against Tehran.
The AEOI head put the number of the delisted inspectors at “three or four”, explaining that the number is a tiny fraction of the total 127 approved inspectors.
The official rebuked the IAEA inspectors for the psychological warfare against Iran for politically-oriented agendas, while “Iran has complied with all of the articles stipulated in nuclear deal”.
The remarks came days after a spat between Tehran and the IAEA after Iran withdrew the designation of eight French and German inspectors.
Iran's foreign ministry has linked the decision to an attempt by the US and three European states to misuse the UN body “for their own political purposes”.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kana'ani has 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.
"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 noted in mid-September, 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 spokesperson once again urged 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 added.
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 in mid-September for Tehran to work immediately with the UN watchdog on issues including explaining "uranium traces found at undeclared sites". 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.
The IAEA’s Board of Governors has also issued a Western-sponsored statement which accused Iran of non-compliance with its safeguards commitments. The document, signed by 62 member states of the nuclear agency, called upon Iran to take steps to address outstanding safeguards issues and provide the IAEA with information concerning its new nuclear facilities.
Separately, the three European signatories of the 2015 nuclear agreement -- the UK, France and Germany -- also issued a joint statement on the sidelines of the meeting of the IAEA's Board of Governors. They accused Iran of non-compliance with the 2015 deal.
Iran proved the peaceful nature of its nuclear program to the world by signing the 2015 accord 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 IAEA Director General Rafael 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.