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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

'Unfair and Unbalanced': Tehran Slams IAEA's New Report on Iran's Nuclear Programme

Sputnik News

20220531
Oleg Burunov

The document was released as parties to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal are trying to finalise efforts to revive what is also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The agreement was unilaterally abandoned by the US in 2019, in a move that was followed by Iran starting to scale down its JCPOA obligations.

Tehran has lashed out at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over its new report on the Islamic Republic's atomic activities, which mentioned the undeclared nuclear material which was allegedly found at three Iranian sites.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told journalists on Tuesday that "unfortunately", the document, which was released on Monday, "does not reflect the reality of the negotiations between Iran and the IAEA".

"It's not a fair and balanced report. We expect this path to be corrected,", Khatibzadeh pointed out.

The statement followed the IAEA making it clear that it still had questions which were "not clarified" regarding undeclared nuclear material previously found at the sites in Iran's Marivan, Varamin and Turquzabad.

The UN nuclear watchdog argued that its long-running efforts to make Iranian officials explain the presence of nuclear material on these sites had failed to provide the answers.

In the Monday report, the IAEA also claimed that Tehran's stockpile of enriched uranium is more than 18 times the limit set in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The report asserted that it "estimated that, as of 15 May 2022, Iran's total enriched stockpile was 3,809.3 kg".

The IAEA further claimed that Iran is continuing the enrichment of uranium above the 3.67% limit set in the JCPOA. Tehran's stockpile of 20% enriched uranium stands at 238.4 kg, up 56.3 kg from the last UN nuclear watchdog report published in March. Iran's stockpile of 60% enriched uranium grew by 9.9 kg to 43.1 kg, according to the latest report.

Vienna Talks on JCPOA's Revival

The UN nuclear watchdog's document was released after IAEA chief Rafael Grossi argued last week that the nuclear aspects of the deal, which is being negotiated in Vienna, have been "pretty much finalised" but that the talks have stumbled on non-nuclear issues.

The JCPOA was inked in 2015 by the UK, Russia, China, the US, France, the EU plus Germany, and stipulated imposing restrictions on the advancement of the Iranian nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of US sanctions.

In May 2018, then-US President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out of the JCPOA, reinstating harsh economic sanctions on Iran. Exactly a year later, the Iranian government announced that Tehran had started to scale back its JCPOA obligations.

Since April 2021, Vienna has been hosting talks to restore the deal, with Washington making it clear that it will return to the deal only if Iran first reduces its uranium enrichment and stockpiling activities to those prescribed under the JCPOA. Iran in turn has repeatedly underlined that the ball is in the US' court and that the removal of US sanctions is Tehran's "red line" in the Vienna talks.

© Sputnik



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