All news

Iran’s cooperation with IAEA confirms its nuclear program is peaceful — Russian envoy

The envoy excoriated the US as seeking to break down Iran’s cooperation with the IAEA
The IAEA headquarters in Vienna  AP Photo/Ronald Zak
The IAEA headquarters in Vienna
© AP Photo/Ronald Zak

VIENNA, September 10. /TASS/. Iran’s cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency confirms the peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program, Russia’s Permanent Representative at International Organizations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, said at a meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors on Tuesday.

He said Russia was firmly committed to the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to the full extent without exemptions, but at the same time without irrelevant addenda.

"We’ve taken note of Iran’s latest step to relinquish commitments under the JCPOA. We understand that this is Tehran’s predictable and forced reaction to the absence of practical progress in restoring the balance between the nuclear and financial-economic components of the JCPOA. These measures go beyond the bounds of the ‘nuclear deal’ but they do not pose any risks from the standpoint of proliferation and will be completely reversible after political solutions have been achieved," UIyanov said.

"It is important that the Iranian side continues full cooperation with the IAEA Secretariat, which is a key condition for confirming the exceptionally peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program. We call upon Iran to refrain from further steps that might aggravate the situation. We are asking all other JCPOA participants to display reasonable restraint and political will for the sake of achieving mutually acceptable solutions," Ulyanov said.

He added that Russia hailed France’s initiatives geared to restore the nuclear deal’s balance. "We hail France’s initiatives that are aimed at restoring the balance envisaged by the JCPOA. We will continue work with other participants in the nuclear deal to find mutually acceptable solutions to the problems within the JCPOA Joint Commission," he noted.

French President Emmanuel Macron said earlier a meeting between the US and Iranian presidents, Donald Trump and Hassan Rouhani, was highly desirable. He suggested Iran be allowed to import certain amounts of oil in exchange for a number of serious commitments. Thus, one of the options was to let Iran sell some 700,000 barrels of oil a day and extend a 15 billion US dollar loan to it.

Stance on actions of the US 

The United States is apparently seeking to push Iran towards violating its nuclear non-proliferation commitments and breaking down cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with an eye to using a forceful scenario in the Gulf, the Russian envoy claimed. 

"Apparently, the United States is seeking to push Iran towards violating its non-proliferation liabilities and breaking down its cooperation with the IAEA to justify a possible forceful scenario that would be pernicious for the entire region," he said at a meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors. "Attempts to impose an oil ban on Iran under invented pretexts have already triggered deterioration of the situation in the Gulf and are adversely impacting the entire system of international security."

Meanwhile, the United States’ destructive steps around the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program already forced Iran to scale down its commitments under it, the diplomat went on to say.

"The current situation around the Iran nuclear deal is a direct outcome of the United States’ destructive steps as that country has not merely withdrawn from the deal approved by the United Nations Security Council but is seeking to prohibit other countries, including Iran, to implement it. Obviously, this policy towards breaking down the JCPOA has forced the Iranian partners to partially suspend the implementation of a number of liabilities," he told a meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors.

He noted that the JCPOA rested on a very delicate balance of interests, commitments and compromises and this balance had been broken down. "For some odd reason, the American colleagues think that only that part of the deal that imposes restrictions on Tehran is to be implemented. And even when the Iranians strictly abided by their liabilities, Washington awarded Tehran with new unlawful sanctions in response," Ulyanov underscored.

"We call on Washington to revise its policy and reverse the pre-May situation, or the one that had been in place before sanctions waivers on Iranian oil imports were ended," he concluded.

Iran nuclear deal

The JCPOA, also known as the Iran nuclear deal, was signed between Iran and six international mediators (the United Kingdom, Germany, China, Russia, the United States, and France) in July 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 for abandonment of the sanctions imposed previously by the United Nations Security Council, the European Union and the United States over its nuclear program.

Iran pledged not to enrich uranium above the level of 3.67% for 15 years and maintain enriched uranium stockpiles at the level not exceeding 300 kg, as well as not to build new heavy-water reactors, not to accumulate heavy water and not to develop nuclear explosive devices.

The situation around the deal exacerbated after Washington unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA on May 8, 2018 and slapped US economic sanctions on Iran’s oil exports. Exactly one year after that, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Tehran was scaling back some of its commitments under the JCPOA and called on other signatories to the deal to comply with the conditions of the agreement within two months (till July 8).

On July 7, Tehran proceeded to the second stage of scaling down its commitments and announced it had exceeded the 3.67%-level of uranium enrichment. More to it, it promised to keep on reducing its commitment every 60 days if other participants in the deal were not committed to the deal. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed on July 1 and 8 that Iran had exceeded the 300 kg limit set for its stockpiles of low enriched uranium and had exceeded the 3.67% enrichment threshold.

The third stage came on September 6 when Tehran rejected restrictions on research activities. The IAEA said on Sunday that the Iranian authorities had informed its acting Director General Cornel Feruta about the third stage of reduction of its commitments under the JCPOA.