Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mohsen Baharvand said on Wednesday a recent report by the head of the UN nuclear watchdog showed Tehran’s cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on verification activities has remained “uninterrupted”.
“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,” Baharvand said as he addressed the IAEA Board of Governors in Vienna.
Rafael Grossi’s report indicates that the IAEA’s inspections “have been conducted without any impediment and interruption” and that the agency “continues to carry out its mandates in relation with the verification activities” under Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, he said.
Grossi on Monday told Board of Governors that an agreement between the agency and Iran in late August on “safeguards implementation issues” had gone well with inspectors visiting one of the two Iranian sites the IAEA had sought to be granted access.
He said the agency's inspectors will visit the second later in September for verification purposes.
“I welcome the agreement between the agency and Iran, which I hope will reinforce cooperation and enhance mutual trust,” the IAEA chief said.
Baharvand said on Wednesday that Iran continues its cooperation with the agency but it depends on whether remaining participants of the 2015 accord can resist the pressure exerted by the US.
The US pulled out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Iran as part of President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign.
“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 unilateral policies of the United States and upholds its community values, norms and laws,” Baharvand said.
The Iranian official said noted that the JCPOA parties that include Russia, China, France, Germany and Britain need to “strike a balance between the rights and obligations of Iran stipulated” in the deal.
Under the deal, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in return for the lifting of international sanctions.
“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,” Baharvand pointed out.
He said Trump’s maximum pressure approach has “inflicted immense damage” on Iran and its people.
“The US shall be held responsible for its internationally wrongful acts and is obliged to compensate the injuries incurred upon Iran,” the diplomat said.
Baharvand also noted that the US cannot introduce any alternative for the JCPOA because its “diplomacy is based on unilateralism and bullying but not multilateralism and cooperation”.