US approach to JCPOA, part of internal process: Expert

MNA – Cindy Vestergaard, Director of Stimson’s Nuclear Safeguards Program believes “complementary access inspections to sites in Iran” is not beyond AP, but the US approach toward Iran is part of an internal US process.

Last week, Yukiya Amano, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency in his seasonal report to the board of governors certified Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA once again despite decertification of it by the US President Donald Trump.

US delegation to IAEA after recent session in IAEA announced that “We welcome the Director General’s statement that the IAEA continues to evaluate Iran’s declarations under the Additional Protocol, and to conduct complementary access inspections to sites and locations in Iran. Any new and credible concerns of undeclared nuclear activities, including any potential weaponization-related issues, can and must be pursued by the IAEA.

To shed more light on the issue, we reached out to Cindy Vestergaard, a Senior Associate with the Managing across Boundaries Initiative and Director of Stimson’s Nuclear Safeguards Program.

Commenting on the meaning of “complementary access inspections to sites and locations in Iran”? And if the mentioned access is beyond the Additional Protocol or not, Vestergaard said, “Complementary access it is exactly what the AP is about. The Additional Protocol grants IAEA inspectors “complementary” access to provide confidence that no undeclared nuclear material exists, or to resolve inconsistencies in information. Activities carried out during complementary access include examination of records, visual observation, environmental sampling, radiation detection and measurement and the application of seals and other identifying and tamper-indicating devices. Iran has been provisionally applying the Additional Protocol since 16 January 2016.”

Touching upon the reasons why the US administration is trying again to bring up Iran PMD Case in IAEA, she said, “The US approach to Iran, including President Trump’s decision not to certify Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA is part of an internal US process.”