Iran continues to meet its obligations, IAEA says

12 September 2017

Yukiya Amano, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on 11 September that Iran was abiding by the rules set out in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement involving the USA, China, France, Germany, Russia and the UK, which it signed in July 2015. He was responding to US suggestions that Iran was not adhering to the deal. The US State Department has to notify Congress every 90 days of Iran's compliance with the deal. The next deadline is October and President Donald Trump has suggested that the USA will declare Iran non-compliant. However, Amano said Iran had not broken any promises and was not receiving special treatment. "The nuclear-related commitments undertaken by Iran under the (deal) are being implemented," he said in the text of a speech to a quarterly meeting of the IAEA's 35-member Board of Governors.

Iran has been applying an Additional Protocol, which gives the IAEA access to sites, including military locations, to clarify questions or inconsistencies that may arise. "We will continue to implement the Additional Protocol in Iran ... as we do in other countries," Amano said, referring to so-called complementary access visits granted under the protocol, details of which Amano said were confidential. "I cannot tell you how many complementary accesses we have had, but I can tell you ... that we have had access to locations more frequently than many other countries with extensive nuclear programmes." He said verification measures in Iran were "the most robust regime" currently in existence.

Iran has received nearly two snap nuclear inspections a month and almost double the overall number of visits it had just five years ago, Bloomberg reported. IAEA inspectors conducted 402 site visits and 25 snap inspections in the first 12 months since the deal was enacted in early 2016, according to data from reports to IAEA members.

“Actions speak louder than words in the JCPOA, and Iran is speaking clearly,” said Robert Kelley, an American nuclear weapons engineer who directed IAEA inspections in Iraq, Libya and South Africa. “We know from the CIA that Iran did have a nuclear weapons program before 2004, and we know from the JCPOA that they stopped it. They have submitted to intrusive inspections to prove they have stopped.”

If the USA finds Iran non-compliant, sanctions could be re-imposed and Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has warned that while Iran will not be the first to violate the terms of the accord, it also will not stand by and allow the Washington to disregard its own obligations. Bloomberg quoted Andreas Persbo, the executive director of Vertic, a London-based nuclear-policy researcher, as saying that sticking to the agreement may be the best way for   the Trump administration to reduce concern over the potential for undeclared nuclear activities. Under inspections criteria spelled out by the accord, more than 400 IAEA monitors are assigned to Iran and on the lookout for possible violations. “The JCPOA has increased the inspection effort in Iran, placed all its declared facilities under international safeguards, and halted the growth of Iran’s nuclear capabilities,” Persbo said. “This increased level of transparency is to the benefit of all, including the United States."



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