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Iran slams U.S. and E3 for ‘misusing’ UN nuclear agency

Iran has lodged an accusation against the United States and the three European parties to the 2015 nuclear agreement, asserting that they are "misusing" the UN nuclear watchdog to pursue "political objectives."

Anadolu Agency WORLD
Published September 17,2023

Iran has accused the US and the three European parties to the 2015 nuclear agreement on Saturday of "misusing" the UN nuclear watchdog to achieve "political objectives."

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said in a statement that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been "politicized" despite Tehran's "positive, constructive and continuous interaction" with the agency.

His statement was in response to remarks by IAEA chief Rafael Grossi earlier in the day when he decried Iran's latest move to withdraw the designation of the agency's senior inspectors as "disproportionate and unprecedented."

Kanaani said the action is based on Iran's rights under Article 9 of the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and Tehran expects Western countries to "refrain from abusing the agency (mandate)," a reference to the US UK, France and Germany.

He hastened to add that Iran had previously warned against the politicization of the UN nuclear body.

The IAEA chief said in a statement Saturday that Iran has informed the agency that it is "withdrawing the designation of several experienced Agency inspectors assigned to conduct verification activities in Iran under the NPT Safeguards Agreement," which he said followed the withdrawal of the designation of another experienced IAEA inspector for Iran recently.

"With today's decision, Iran has effectively removed about one-third of the core group of the Agency's most experienced inspectors designated for Iran," said Grossi.

"This measure, while formally permitted by the NPT Safeguards Agreement, has been exercised by Iran in a manner that affects in a direct and severe way the ability of the IAEA to conduct effectively its inspections in Iran," he said.

Grossi condemned a "disproportionate and unprecedented unilateral measure" affecting the "normal planning and conduct of Agency verification activities in Iran and openly contradicts the cooperation that should exist between the Agency and Iran," while he urged Tehran to "reconsider the decision."

Kanaani, in response, urged Western parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, to "stop abusing" the UN nuclear body and allow it to carry out its "professional and neutral" activities.

On Wednesday, the US and more than 60 countries voiced concern about what they called "Iran's lack of cooperation on the NPT Safeguards Agreement," for not making available "technically credible explanations for the presence of uranium particles of anthropogenic origin at three undeclared locations in Iran."

The US and the European troika -- (UK, France and Germany) said Iran has refused to provide answers to the IAEA on undeclared nuclear activities, while warning of another anti-Iran resolution.

The latest developments come six months after Grossi visited Tehran and held meetings with top Iranian officials to resolve issues that have hampered cooperation between the two sides.

During the visit, Iran and the UN nuclear agency agreed to enhance cooperation and clarify issues related to Iran's nuclear activities, including reports about high-grade uranium enrichment as well as undeclared nuclear sites.

"It was the first time I could have a serious conversation with the president of Iran about these things. This has enormous importance," Grossi said after his return to Vienna.

The new developments, according to observers, have added more hurdles in the revival of the 2015 nuclear agreement amid a stalemate in Vienna talks.