Iran to continue cooperation with IAEA: Deputy FM

Tasnim – Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Mohsen Baharvand said the country will move forward with its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as before.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran continues its cooperation with the Agency, but there is a valid question to be raised: ‘whether the JCPOA and the verification activities in accordance with this deal can resist the pressures exerted by the US creating an extremely difficult situation for its viability?’ the answer to this question could be both yes and no. Everything depends on the international community and remaining participants of the JCPOA,” Baharvand said in a speech before the IAEA Board of Governors on Verification and Monitoring in the Islamic Republic of Iran in Light of UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

Following is the full text of his address.

In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

Madam Chairperson, Director General,

Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Report of the Director General on this agenda item demonstrates once again that the level of cooperation between Iran and the Agency stands at the same level as it has been in the past. Even in the difficult situation caused by the pandemic Covid-19, verification activities of the Agency have been conducted without any impediment and remains uninterrupted. The DG’s Report is again an evidence that the Agency continues to carry out its mandates in relations with the verification activities under the JCPOA.

The Islamic Republic of Iran continues its cooperation with the Agency, but there is a valid question to be raised: “whether the JCPOA and the verification activities in accordance with this deal can resist the pressures exerted by the US creating an extremely difficult situation for its viability?” the answer to this question could be both yes and no. Everything depends on the international community and remaining participants of the JCPOA.

The US is sparing no effort to frustrate this important deal. What might be the benefit of US in destroying such a multilateral agreement, or what the US would be able to propose in its absence, is up to them to explain. My take on that would be the US approach toward Iran is an ideological antagonistic one, no other justification can serve the amount of animosity of the United States toward my country. JCPOA and nuclear deal is just a small episode of the show.

However, we can rest assured that the US can introduce any alternative neither for the JCPOA nor for any other multilateral agreement it has withdrawn from it. The reason for such argument is obvious. The US diplomacy is based on unilateralism and bullying but not multilateralism and cooperation. The US has already lost its spirit and ability to deliver fair solutions for international conflicts. When the US has only learnt to dictate its will over the others due to misperception of its hard power, how can it be able to respect concerns of others, or negotiate on an equal footing in order to bring about freely acceptable conclusions for all parties concerned? Don’t forget that once upon a time the United Nations and multilateralism was mainly the result of The US diplomacy. That spirit has vanished long time ago.

The so-called Maximum Pressure approach has inflicted immense damages on my country and the Iranian people. The US shall be held responsible for its internationally wrongful acts and is obliged to compensate the injuries incurred upon Iran.

Before, the current US administration came to power and during election campaign the current US president pledged to withdraw from nuclear deal. It is lamentable that the international agreements become the subject of political rivalries in the United States. In such cases the only important issue is to do something against the opposite part.

The US withdrew from the deal in May 2018 and defied its obligations under JCPOA, while in accordance with the UNSC Resolution 2231, it had the obligation to adhere to its commitments under the nuclear deal.

The internal political reasons were made and US domestic laws were invoked to justify this move. In accordance with the provisions of international law, it is not acceptable to raise internal political issues or national laws to shrug off the international obligations. But the US did so without paying attention to its obligations.

United States is not allowed by any means to apply its domestic laws and regulations at international level in defying the provisions of international law. If the US act prevails in international relations, no international agreement including the UN Charter, would be able to sustain.

US was first of the hope that with its withdrawal from the deal and exerting Maximum Pressure, Iran would give in and the JCPOA would collapse. But all its desperate unilateral attempts failed.

The US Administration, thus, recently entered into another phase of sabotage which is disguised with a form of legal debate. They have put forward the issue of the so-called snapback, upon a peculiar, unprofessional and arbitrary interpretation of the UNSC Resolution 2231. They tend to make use of the resolution that pretending to be a participant in the JCPOA.

Such simplified misinterpretation of an international document can only come from the one who either has no shred of understanding of the international law and the norms of interpretation, or has evil intention against a nation or the international community as a whole.

As far as we are aware, the US enjoys a good human resources, therefore the first scenario cannot be the case. However, there are some petty politicians including in our region who support every ill-founded US argument. As we know them, they probably enjoy both characteristics mentioned above.

Madam Chair

The fact is clear, US is no more a participant of the JCPOA in order to be able to utilize the so-called snapback mechanism, and if it resorts to the UNSC Resolution 2231 to destroy the JCPOA, it is taking a wrong path, because; first, the main purpose of the Resolution is to maintain the deal and enhance its implementation not to turn into the tool to dismantle it, and second, the so-called snapback has a known procedure through the Joint Commission of the JCPOA, and for this, the initiator should be a participant of the Joint Commission to be able to trigger the process. Even if the US was a participant of the deal, it could have not trigger the so-called snapback without implementing its obligations thereunder in good-will.

Madam Chairperson,

The root-causes of all these conflicts, with which the Agency has also been technically associated one way or another, are the unilateralism and failure of the current management of international relations. That is because the United States as one of the most powerful members of international community is attacking its very basic foundations on a daily basis, instead of respecting its order, norms and regulations.

We do not only blame the United State for this situation in the world. We believe rather those countries who pretend to disagree with unilateralism in words but they are underpinning unilateralism by their deeds are equally responsible for such instability and turmoil in international relations. I call this phenomena “passive unilateralism”. If there is a member of the international community which succumbs to unlawful unilateral measures for the sake of its short-sighted interest and leaves the international community’s values, norms and laws unattended is a passive unilateralist. It should be kept in mind, that it is of no avail to advise or

recommend the unilateralist countries to abandon such measures, rather the members of the international community need collectively to resist against unilateral measures in order to uphold law and order at international level. Otherwise we have to get prepared to jump back to the pre Second World War era.

Unfortunately, passive unilateralism is pervasive in the current state of international relations. We are witnessing this on daily basis including during some deliberations of current agenda item in this room.

Some in this room intentionally or unintentionally are trying to change the place of victim and the victimizer. Some are even reluctant to name the United States as the one who has withdrawn from the deal and the current situation is the result of its acts. With such practice in international organizations it is hard to believe that multilateralism can survive.

Dear colleagues

Making a comment in the international forums is easy if you don’t care about the facts on the ground. You are not facing the sanctions and maximum pressure of the United States. Your cancer patients are not left without medications. Your children with the EB disease are not living with deadly pain waiting months and months for medicine. Billions of dollars of your assets are not blockaded illegally. But you have a moral duty to bear in mind this list and longer list by far to be able to make a realistic comment.

Madam Chair

Iran has repeatedly shown its willingness to implement the deal fully and effectively we should be realistic a bit. The US has withdrawn from the nuclear deal and has imposed additional sanctions on my country. We are adhering to our

obligations expressed in the deal but in the same time it is almost impossible to enjoy the rights stipulated therein. Therefore, Iran is using its remedial rights within the framework of the deal. However, we are ready to reverse the steps which have been taken as soon as we can enjoy freely the rights enshrined in the deal.

Having said all above, we should not lose hope and enhance cooperation with our partners in the JCPOA. The recent resistance shown by the members of the UN Security Council against the US unilateral measure in relations with the JCPOA is good example of reinforcing multilateralism. Such an action is commendable, and could be used as a lesson learnt in other international fora.

Madam Chair,

At the end please allow me to raise once again the question I raised at the beginning of my statement. Can JCPOA and its relevant inspections carried out by the agency still stay alive?  The answer would be yes if the world community stands firm against unilateralist policies of the United States and upholds its community values, norms and laws. Again the answer would be yes if we can strike a balance between the rights and obligations of Iran stipulated by JCPOA. No one can expect my country to implement all its obligations eternally without enjoying the rights provided for by the nuclear deal. No international agreement can be viable without a balance between rights and obligations therein. JCPOA is no exception.

In this respect I shall not fail to remind the commitments of EU /E3 members enshrined in the JCPOA. It goes without saying that they should implement their commitments fully and effectively under the nuclear deal. The answer of course is no if Iran cannot enjoy its rights under the JCPOA and international law generally. The answer again is no if there is no balance between the rights and obligations of Iran under the deal and if multilateralism is undermined and unilateralism continues to prevail in active or passive form.

I thank you Madam Chairperson.