"The statement of the agency in its report is completely unprofessional, illusory and unfair," Kazem Gharibabadi, Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, said in a statement to a meeting of the IAEA's 35-nation Board of Governors, Reuters reported.
Gharibabadi was referring to a passage in an IAEA report last week that said the lack of progress was seriously affecting the IAEA's ability to determine that Iran's nuclear program is entirely peaceful, as Tehran has always maintained it is.
Iran and Russia say uranium particles in the IAEA’s claim mainly seem to date back to the early 2000s and there is no indication any of the material present was enriched to a high degree means the agency should move on.
"I would like to seriously convey my concerns over the aggrandizing of few insignificant old issues from the (IAEA) secretariat," Gharibabadi said in the text of his statement.
"How is it possible that an insignificant amount of material belonging to two decades ago affect the peaceful nature of the nuclear program of a country, while that country is hosting more than 20 percent of the agency's inspections at the global level ... ?!" he asked.
The Russian ambassador to international organizations in Vienna said the Board of Governors, during its latest session in the Austrian capital, called for the resumption of talks on the revival of Iran’s nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Mikhail Ulyanov made the remarks in a Thursday tweet in which he noted the board believed that it is high time for Tehran to intensify cooperation with the agency “in order to settle outstanding issues”.
Ulyanov’s tweet continued, "All the Safeguards obligations with the IAEA should be strictly observed by all states/w agreements in force. Including Iran," Press TV reported.
He called for Iran's continued cooperation with the IAEA to help clarify any remaining issues and said, “It is important that Iran ensures cooperation and clarifies those issues to be removed from the board’s agenda."
The Russian diplomat also said his country calls on the IAEA to ease tensions, abstain from politicizing and return to routine tech cooperation with Iran, adding that any concern should be handled in line with the Safeguards Agreement.
Iran has reduced the level of its cooperation with the IAEA as part of a December 2020 law that tasked the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) to stop allowing IAEA inspections “beyond the Safeguards Agreement” including the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol, if the other JCPOA signatories fail to fully deliver on their commitments under the landmark accord.
Tehran has announced that all inspections of the country’s nuclear facilities beyond the Safeguards Agreement have come to a halt, but the IAEA continues those inspections that fall within the framework of the Safeguards Agreement as usual.
The JCPOA was reached between Iran and six world powers – the US, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany – in 2015, and was nixed by the United States in 2018. The US then unilaterally reinstated draconian sanctions on the Islamic Republic in spite of Tehran’s strict compliance with the multilateral deal.
The parties to the JCPOA began high-profile talks in Vienna earlier this year after the US, under Joe Biden, voiced willingness to rejoin the deal. However, the talks have been delayed because of Iran’s presidential election. The talks are expected in the near future, according to Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman.