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Russia hopes Iran, IAEA will be able to ensure monitoring at all facilities — diplomat

Of principal importance is the continuation of the IAEA monitoring at Iranian nuclear infrastructure facilities that are critically important from the point of view of the JCPOA restoration, Mikhail Ulyanov said

MOSCOW, November 25. /TASS/. Russia hopes that Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will find ways to ensure monitoring at all facilities to restore the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Russia’s Permanent Representative to the Vienna-based international organizations Mikhail Ulyanov said on Wednesday.

"Of principal importance is the continuation of the IAEA monitoring at Iranian nuclear infrastructure facilities that are critically important from the point of view of the JCPOA restoration. As long as the director general confirms the possibility of restoring the integrity of knowledge about that, the participants in the talks will work in relatively comfortable conditions. Naturally, this conclusion of the director general should cover all corresponding facilities, including the facility for the production of centrifuge components at Karaj," he said at session of the IAEA Board following IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi’s visit to Tehran. "We hope that Iran and the agency will be able to find mutually acceptable variants to continue monitoring works at Karaj in the interests of the JCPOA."

In February 2021, Iran agreed to allow the IAEA to install video surveillance cameras, including at Karaj. However, the facility has partially destroyed in an attack on it and IAEA equipment was damaged. "We categorically condemn such irresponsible acts against nuclear infrastructure facilities and the agency’s property. We understand the Iranian side’s demand for a thorough investigation of the incident," the Russian diplomat stressed.

He recalled that Russian insists that there are no alternatives to the Iran nuclear deal in its original variant in the interests of peace and stability in the region and the promotion of the non-proliferation regime. Moscow, in his words, welcomes the resumption of the Vienna talks on the JCPOA restoration planned for November 29. "We are determined to continue cooperation in the Vienna format involving all the JCPOA signatory nations and US rfepresentatives," Ulyanov added.

On November 23, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi held talks with Head of Atomic Energy Organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Vice-President Mohammad Eslami and met with the Iranian foreign minister. He said that his talks with Iran were constructive and professional but yielded no results. Tehran and the IAEA should reach an agreement to resume the agency’s inspections in that country, he stressed.

Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

The JCPOA, also known as the Iran nuclear deal, was signed between Iran, the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (Russia, the United Kingdom, China, the United States, and France) and Germany in 2015. Under the deal, Iran undertook to curb its nuclear activities and place them under total control of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in exchange of abandonment of the sanctions imposed previously by the United Nations Security Council, the European Union and the United States over its nuclear program.

The future of the deal was called in question after the United States’ unilateral pullout in May 2018 and Washington’s unilateral oil export sanctions against Teheran. Iran argued that all other participants, Europeans in the first place, were ignoring some of their own obligations in the economic sphere, thus making the deal in its current shape senseless. This said, it began to gradually scale down its commitments under the deal.

Meanwhile, US’ incumbent President Joe Biden has repeatedly signaled his readiness to return the US to the deal.

The Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has had six offline meetings in Vienna since April to find ways to restore the nuclear deal in its original form. The sides discuss prospects for the United States’ possible return to the deal, steps needed to ensure full compliance with the deal’s terms by Iran, and issues of lifting the anti-Iranian sanctions. The next round of talks is scheduled for November 29.