Zarif says inspections are limited but cooperation with IAEA continues

Zarif says inspections are limited but cooperation with IAEA continues

© Provided by Agencia EFE

Tehran, Feb 23 (EFE) .- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamad Yavad Zarif reported on Tuesday that international inspections have been limited but guaranteed that cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) continues.

“This morning the implementation of the law” approved by the Iranian parliament to restrict inspections began, the head of diplomacy said at a ceremony in Tehran.

Zarif insisted that “the implementation of the law of Parliament does not mean the cessation of Iran’s cooperation with the IAEA,” which oversees the Iranian atomic program since the signing of the 2015 nuclear agreement: “Our cooperation with the IAEA will continue.” added.

Starting today, Iran suspends the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which allows inspectors to access any nuclear facility in the country, civil or military, without prior notice.

However, the inspections within the framework of the safeguards agreement are maintained, which, according to Zarif’s statements published by the local agency Isna, is “the commitment of the Islamic Republic.”

In addition, to mitigate the impact of today’s measure, Iran and the UN nuclear agency agreed two days ago “a temporary bilateral technical understanding through which the IAEA will continue with the necessary verification and monitoring activities for up to 3 months.”

Regarding this last-minute arrangement, much criticized yesterday by Parliament, the Foreign Minister affirmed that it is “a unique diplomatic success” and urged the deputies not to politicize the issue.

Zarif explained that what this agreement stipulates is that the recordings of the development of the nuclear program, which were delivered daily or weekly to the UN agency, will continue to be made but the images “from now on are not provided to the IAEA” .

The idea is that the images remain stored and in the possession of Iran during these three months and, in case the US sanctions have been lifted during that period, they will be shared with the IAEA.

Due to the sanctions imposed by the US in 2018 against Iran following its unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear deal, Tehran began a year later to reduce its commitments, to the point of today.

Diplomacy has started again with the arrival of Joe Biden to the White House, but while Washington demands that Tehran once again fulfill its commitments, Iran considers that it is the United States that must first make a move.

In this sense, Zarif reiterated today that Iran will abide by its obligations when the other parties: “the Europeans and the Americans” fulfill their commitments.

The nuclear agreement, known as JCPOA in its acronym in English, was signed between Iran and the US, Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom and Germany to limit the Iranian atomic program in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.

“Contrary to what they affirm, the Europeans did not fulfill their obligations of the JCPOA”, denounced Zarif, who gave as examples the fact that European companies left Iran for fear of US sanctions and that the mechanisms created to facilitating trade, like Instex, will not produce positive results.

To try to unblock this crisis, the European Union has invited the US to an informal meeting with members of the JCPOA, an option that is still “under review” in Iran, according to the head of Persian diplomacy.

(c) EFE Agency


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