Iran Ends Voluntary Cooperation with IAEA

Spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of () Behrouz Kamalvandi announced that his country has stopped its voluntary cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency amid the 's political approach towards Tehran's nuclear activities.

Kamalvandi said on Wednesday that Tehran was mulling over “additional measures” after turning off the IAEA surveillance cameras that functioned beyond the safeguards agreement, amid rising tensions over IAEA’s political agendas.

He added that Iran has decided to stop its voluntary cooperation with the UN nuclear agency, which was outside the purview of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) safeguards agreement and offered as a goodwill gesture, while stressing that Iran's commitments under the agreement will continue.

“Unfortunately, the IAEA's behavior was not a proper response to such cooperation (between the two sides) ... we accordingly chose to cease part of our cooperation that was outside the safeguards agreement… including the operation of the IAEA’s surveillance cameras for the On-Line Enrichment Monitor (OLEM) as well as the flow meter,” Kamalvandi stressed.

Iran ratified the NPT in 1970, which requires nonnuclear-weapon states to accept comprehensive IAEA safeguards. Four years later, Tehran concluded a comprehensive safeguards agreement with the IAEA.

As a goodwill gesture, Iran voluntarily chose to have extensive cooperation with the UN nuclear agency, beyond the safeguards agreement.

In his remarks on Wednesday, Kamalvandi noted that the collected data was not supposed to be shared unless Iran’s conditions were accepted, emphasizing that the latest measure was in line with the Strategic Action Plan to Counter Sanctions.

The law was passed by the Iranian parliament in December 2020, following the assassination of top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, prompting the government to restrict the IAEA’s inspections and accelerate the development of the country’s nuclear program beyond the limits set under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“We plan other steps. We expect them to come to their senses, and reciprocate Iran’s cooperation. It is not acceptable for Iran to continue cooperation, whilst the other side does not show proper behavior,” he said.

The senior Iranian nuclear official highlighted that 80 percent of the IAEA’s surveillance cameras are functioning under the safeguards agreement, stressing that Tehran is committed to the treaty and will continue its nuclear activities.

In relevant remarks on Wednesday, AEOI Head Mohammad Eslami said Tehran has declared all its nuclear sites that hosted past nuclear activities, dismissing the Western rhetoric about undeclared nuclear sites in the country.

“Iran has no hidden or undocumented nuclear activities or … undisclosed sites,” he told reporters.

“These fake documents seek to maintain maximum pressure,” Eslami said, referring to the campaign launched by former US President Donald Trump against Iran, which included the re-imposition of crippling economic sanctions after Washington unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

“This recent move by the three European countries and the United States to present a draft resolution against Iran is a political one,” Eslami said, emphasizing that Iran has had "maximum cooperation with the IAEA”.

The IAEA approved a resolution, proposed by the US, Germany, France and Britain, against Iran late Wednesday with 30 votes in favor, two against and three abstentions.

The Iranian foreign ministry denounced the "non-constructive approach" of the IAEA, saying the Islamic Republic "has taken practical quid pro quo steps which include installation of advanced centrifuges and deactivation of cameras operating outside the Safeguards Agreement".

"The adoption of this resolution, which is based on the hasty and unbalanced report of the Director General of the IAEA and on false and fabricated information of the Zionist regime, will only weaken the process of cooperation and interaction of the Islamic Republic of Iran with the IAEA," it said.

The statement said the IAEA appeared to have resurrected issues which had been settled between the two sides seven years ago, despite the Islamic Republic having "always cooperated constructively" with the agency in recent years. 

Iran, it said, had showed its good faith in cooperation with the IAEA by providing accurate technical information as confirmed by their joint statement issued in March when IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi visited Tehran. 

"Likewise, the Agency was expected to take an independent, impartial and professional approach, taking constructive and realistic steps to normalize safeguards issues that according to the Agency own admission did not bear proliferation concerns," the statement said. 

"It seems some have forgotten that all past issues were closed once and for all on December 15, 2015 by the Board of Governors," it added.

The foreign ministry statement denounced the resolution as a "political, wrongful and unconstructive act" against a country which "currently has one of the most transparent peaceful nuclear programs among the IAEA members".

Source: FarsNews

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