Atomic energy watchdog says Iran deal ‘significant gain’ for nuclear verification

RT– The IAEA inspectors confirm that Iran has been fulfilling its obligations

The nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers (including the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) represents a significant gain for nuclear verification, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano said in a message to the participants in the first session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The session is takins place in the Austrian capital of Vienna on May 2-12.

According to Amano, the IAEA inspectors confirm that Iran has been fulfilling its obligations.

“In 2015, the IAEA helped to bring about an important agreement between Iran and the group of countries known as the P5+1 – and the EU – known as the JCPOA (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action),” Amano pointed out. “Since implementation of the JCPOA began in January 2016, we have been verifying and monitoring Iran’s implementation of its nuclear-related commitments under the agreement. The JCPOA represents a significant gain for nuclear verification. Iran is now subject to the world’s most robust nuclear verification regime,” he added.

“Our inspectors have expanded access to sites, and have more information about Iran’s nuclear program,” Amano said. “That program is smaller than it was before the JCPOA came into effect. Iran is provisionally implementing the additional protocol to its safeguards agreement with the Agency,” he added. “The IAEA will continue to implement safeguards in Iran with a view to being able to draw, in due course, what we call the ‘broader conclusion’ – that all nuclear material remains in peaceful activities. This is likely to take many years,” the IAEA director general concluded.

 Iran’s nuclear issue

Talks on Iran’s nuclear issue began in 2004, after the western countries accused Tehran of working on a secret military nuclear program. Starting from 2006, the talks with Iran were conducted by a six international mediators – the five member states of the United Nations Security Council and Germany. In 2006-2010, the United Nations, the United States and the European Union introduced several packages of sanctions against Iran.

On July 14, 2015 the final Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) for the Iranian nuclear program was agreed on July 14, 2015 in Vienna. Iran pledged to produce no weapons-grade plutonium, to have no more than 300 kg of uranium enriched to 3.67% for a period of fifteen years, reequip its nuclear facilities and use them exclusively for peaceful purposes. The weapons embargo imposed by the UN Security Council will remain effective for five years, the ban on the supply of ballistic technologies to Iran, for eight years and IAEA specialists will be inspecting Iranian nuclear facilities for 25 years.

On January 16, 2016, the United Nations, the United States and the European Union lifted their economic and financial restrictions against Iran imposed over its nuclear program. The US decrees on sanctions were suspended but not canceled altogether.

During his election campaign Trump said that the Obama administration’s nuclear agreement with Iran was a disgrace for the United States. He vowed to achieve its revision, should he be elected president.

Russia has always stated that the JCPOA was a document very important for ensuring regional stability, expressing hope that the difficulties in relations between Tehran and Washington would not affect its implementation.