0356 GMT November 30, 2022
The meeting of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency to review Iran's nuclear activities in the light of its safeguards is just a reincarnation of its earlier meeting three months ago, where it, contrary to expectations driven by cooperation on the part of Iran and ongoing negotiations to revive the JCPOA, passed an anti-Iranian resolution.
The resolution was founded upon unproven claims about the existence of undeclared nuclear material in three sites in Iran, claims which the Israeli regime managed to press into the agency’s resolution.
Tehran, on its part, called the board actions unconstructive, stopping the operation of several security cameras in its nuclear facilities, which were installed as part of its trust-building measures beyond the IAEA safeguards.
The repetitive meetings share one more thing, that is, provision of draft resolutions against Iran prepared by the United States and three European countries – UK, France and Germany.
Japanese Amano and Argentinian Grossi: Worlds apart
Several Iranian officials as well as some nuclear affairs experts emphasize that in regards to Iran’s case, the IAEA has taken a detour from its technical duties, rather treading a political path.
To begin with, they argue, the agency can’t care less in discharging its supervisory tasks when it comes to the nuclear activities of the Israeli regime. Moreover, claims made by that very regime over the past years have been a major contributor to the pressures put on Tehran's peaceful nuclear program. One can hardly ignore the fact that just three days before the previous meeting of the Board of Governors, Rafael Grossi went to Israel to have a one-on-one audience with then-prime minister of the Zionist regime Naftali Bennett to listen to his threats against Iran’s nuclear activities.
It is worth mentioning that the claim of the existence of nuclear particles in three Iranian sites, aka the “PMD case”, had been raised before, and the former director general of the agency, Yukiya Amano, closed the case with the cooperation of Iran in 2015, away from political controversies.
Given the above, it can be said that since Grossi started working in his new job, the agency's activities have taken a very political and non-technical approach in its dealing with Iran’s case.
Grossi hopeful about the IAEA delegation's trip to Tehran
In a press conference yesterday, Grossi emphasized that the case of Iran’s “three sites” will not be closed unless the agency gets answers, saying, “Resolution or no resolution, it is their [Iran's] obligation to provide us information we need. We have been trying to do this for many, many months unsuccessfully.” He also expressed hope in a tweet that the scheduled technical meeting between the representatives of Iran and the IAEA will be held.
However, Mohammad Eslami, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, rejected the anti-Iranian draft resolution, saying, “At the moment, a trip by the International Atomic Energy Agency [representatives] to Iran is not on the agenda.” He added that, “We hope that the goodwill and honesty shown by the Islamic Republic as well as the logical and reasoned answers that it has provided to them would work and they would allow the non-political path and the safeguards regulations rule so that they can draw conclusions.”
Mohammad Eslami further reminded the agency's political and non-technical positions, which make one wonder if the IAEA would serve as a facilitator in resolving Iran’s case or turn into an impediment to progress.
IAEA: A facilitator or an obstacle?
Talking to Iran Daily, Mustafa Khosh-Cheshm, an expert on nuclear issues, emphasized that the agency have so far failed to play a constructive or facilitating role in Iran's case. According to Khosh-Cheshm, Iran provided enough information to the agency before the end of last year, had constructive cooperation with the agency during last spring and summer, and even invited the agency delegation to visit Tehran in a show of goodwill.
“But the agency's role has not been constructive because it has become a political tool in the hands of the U.S.”
“Given that, the agency has deviated from discharging its technical role, and as long as the U.S. is making excessive demands against Iran, it will use the agency as its leverage, especially since the three European countries are aligned with the U.S. in their efforts to exert combined pressure on Iran.”