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Iran-IAEA Agreement to Invalidate Pretexts for Continuation of Sanctions: Nuclear Chief

17 Dec 2021 13:52

Islam Times - Iran seeks to deprive all ill-wishers of pretexts for the continuation of sanctions, after the Islamic Republic took a voluntary measure to further collaborate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI).

Mohammad Eslami , in remarks on Thursday, said the AEOI is cooperating with the IAEA to resolve remaining issues so as to “prevent the ill-wishers and the Zionists” from waging a psychological war and spreading fake news to derail the ongoing talks in Vienna, which are aimed at removing the United States’ anti-Iran sanctions.

“We will continue our effective efforts to ensure that no one concocts excuses or justifications for the continuation of sanctions,” Eslami told reporters.

The remarks came after AEOI spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said Iran would take a voluntary measure to allow the IAEA to replace cameras at the TESA Karaj Complex, which were damaged in a June act of sabotage widely attributed to Israel.

“Following exchanges of views between the AEOI and the IAEA, particularly based on recent talks between the heads of the agencies Mohammad Eslami and Rafael Grossi, it was decided that the IAEA shall have the necessary cooperation [with Iran] in precise technical, security and judicial inspections of the Agency’s cameras at the TESA Karaj Complex. This measure is meant to soothe concerns that saboteurs may take advantage of the cameras,” Kamalvandi said on Thursday.

He stated that the IAEA technicians would also answer Iran’s technical questions regarding the cameras, adding that the Agency’s cameras would be re-installed after careful and necessary checks.

Eslami similarly said the IAEA’s cameras can be re-installed at the Karaj nuclear facility only after thorough security and judicial inspections and the discerning of the factors that played a role in that “terrorist incident.”

In a statement on Thursday, the IAEA chief said the agreement “will enable us to resume necessary continuity of knowledge at this facility,” noting that the new cameras would be installed “in coming days.”

Grossi described the agreement as an important development for the IAEA’s verification and monitoring activities in Iran, adding, “I sincerely hope that we can continue our constructive discussions to also address and resolve all outstanding safeguards issues in Iran.”

A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Washington did not see a need for a special meeting of the IAEA’s board if the agreement went into force.

Russia also welcomed the agreement and expressed support for the mutual commitment of the IAEA and Iran to continue cooperation within the framework of a comprehensive safeguards agreement and in accordance with the requirements of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal.

According to Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova, good news is now needed to stimulate the talks in the Austrian capital, Vienna, on the restoration of the JCPOA.

Moscow expects that by joint efforts “it will also be possible to overcome the tension around the Iranian nuclear program, which is fully compatible with the interests of nonproliferation and strengthening security at the regional and global levels,” Zakharova added.

The JCPOA was abandoned by former US president Donald Trump in May 2018. Trump then targeted Iran’s economy with what he called a “maximum pressure” campaign, which failed to compel Iran to negotiate a “new deal.”

Iran and the five remaining parties to the JCPOA – Germany, Britain, France, Russia, and China – began the talks in the Austrian capital in April with the aim of removing the sanctions and reviving the deal after the US, under President Joe Biden, voiced willingness to return to the agreement.

American officials have said they will not remove all the sanctions that they imposed on Iran after their withdrawal. They have also declined to provide guarantees that the US will not leave the JCPOA again, once it is accepted back into the deal.

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