Iran says it’s ready to work with atomic watchdog after UN rebuke

Bloomberg – Iran said it is committed to collaborating with the International Atomic Energy Agency, days after the United Nations watchdog adopted a resolution calling for additional inspections at the country’s nuclear sites.

“Iran is ready to continue to accept the IAEA’s legal inspections,” President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday in a cabinet meeting broadcast on state TV. “Iran is ready to maintain close cooperation with the IAEA within legal frameworks.”

The resolution approved on Friday calls on Iran to allow inspections at two sites that may have hosted low-level nuclear activities two decades ago. Tehran rejected the resolution and said it would deliver an “appropriate response.” Its envoy to the IAEA warned that the agency risked “destroying” the Islamic Republic’s nuclear deal with five world powers.

The 2015 accord has already been severely compromised by the Trump administration’s withdrawal two years ago and imposition of bruising sanctions. On Wednesday, Rouhani said his country isn’t waiting to see the outcome of the U.S. presidential election in November, and is “ready to negotiate the moment the White House and the U.S. Congress decide to leave their misguided path and return to the P5+1 group” of nations that signed the agreement.

He didn’t say what the substance of those negotiations would be.

The IAEA resolution was the first formal rebuke of Iran since 2012.

“It is easy for the Islamic Republic to give a decisive response, but the IAEA should be careful not to get derailed from its path,” Rouhani said.