Iran showed peaceful nature of nuclear program with IAEA deal

The Iranian President’s Chief of Staff Mahmoud Vaezi has said that Iran proved the peaceful nature of its nuclear program by agreeing to extend necessary IAEA inspections of its nuclear sites.

Iran was a member of the IAEA and committed to the safeguards agreement before the signing of the JCPOA,” Vaezi said on a visit to Isfahan on Friday, adding that “with the agreement with the IAEA, we have shown the world that our nuclear program is peaceful.”

The chief of staff of the president was referring to a recent agreement between the Iranian nuclear agency and the IAEA which had been agreed upon during a visit of the IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi to Tehran. After the Tehran visit on Sunday, the IAEA chief said that he had reached an agreement with the Iranian nuclear officials to continue IAEA “necessary” verification and monitoring activities for up to three months, but there will be less access and no more snap inspections starting on Tuesday February 23rd.

The agreement with the IAEA to continue necessary inspections of the Iranian nuclear sites sparked harsh criticism in the Iranian parliament where lawmakers called on the Rouhani administration to annul it.

In an interview with the Japanese NHK TV, the IAEA chief described recent Iran’s move in suspending the Additional Protocol “a very important loss” for the international community.

“The issues we agreed on [with the IAEA] is very clear. During the period we have stopped implementing the Additional Protocol, we will not allow unannounced inspections in any way and will not authorize inspections,” Vaezi said.

The Iranian president’s chief of staff added that “Their access to the CCTV recordings will be lost altogether and we will keep the recordings for ourselves and they will not have access to them at all unless all issues are resolved in the future and the other side is committed to the JCPOA.”

He went on to say that “if the JCPOA sanctions and the sanctions that Trump imposed without any reasons are lifted, in that case, we are ready to give them even the recordings that we have kept, and this was in accordance with the agreement reached between the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).”

“The result of this agreement is that we wanted to tell the agency that we do not intend to do non-peaceful work on nuclear technology,” he said.

After the US exit from the world powers’ nuclear deal with Iran in May 2018 and imposing the unprecedented sanctions on the Iranian nation, followed by the indifference of the European parties to the need for compensating Iran’s losses as a result of the US violation of the international accord, Iran started reducing its JCPOA commitments in five steps and finally suspended voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol on Monday midnight.

Before ceasing the Additional protocol, Iran had begun enriching uranium to 20% purity in accordance with a piece of legislation approved by the parliament dubbed the Strategic Action Plan to Counter Sanctions in early last December, setting a Feb. 21 deadline for Biden administration to lift the US sanctions.