Iran's technical comments on IAEA safeguards report
IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency
Jun 7, 2022
Tehran, IRNA -- The United Nations nuclear chief Rafael Grossi issued his quarterly safeguards report on Iran on May 30. In an exclusive memo to IRNA on Tuesday, Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), made technical comments on the report.
Grossi briefly mentions four locations in his report, about one of which the IAEA has no more questions at least at this stage. In other words, this location is no more considered an outstanding safeguards issue, but the IAEA has announced that Iran's explanations on the other three locations are technically questionable and invalid. Grossi has also said in his report:
"Iran has not provided explanations that are technically credible in relation to the Agency's findings at three undeclared locations in Iran. Nor has Iran informed the Agency of the current location, or locations, of the nuclear material and/or of the equipment contaminated with nuclear material, that was moved from Turquzabad in 2018.
Unless and until Iran provides technically credible explanations for the presence of uranium particles of anthropogenic origin at Turquzabad, Varamin and 'Marivan' and informs the Agency of all current locations of the nuclear material and/or of the contaminated equipment, the Agency cannot confirm the correctness and completeness of Iran's declarations under its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement. Therefore, the safeguards issues related to these three locations remain outstanding.
As in the past, and in order for the Agency to be in a position to provide assurance that Iran's nuclear program is exclusively peaceful, the Agency remains ready to re-engage without delay with Iran to resolve these matters."
Observations on the director-general's report
Unfortunately, the recent report has been issued with no attention to Iran's constructive interaction and broad voluntary cooperation with the agency in providing its inspectors with access to the locations in question, providing initial and supplementary information and holding joint technical and legal meetings to examine and settle the issues. The thing is that the IAEA is pursuing these issues based on unfounded, fake information the Zionist Regime has provided them.
Although not obliged to answer the questions raised based on fake, invalid documents, Iran has voluntarily provided the IAEA with all required information and supporting proofs as well as the required access and answers to its questions. This level of cooperation by Iran is proof of its goodwill for clarification. Iran could avoid giving access and handing supporting information if it wasn't willing to cooperate. Unfortunately, the agency's invoking to fabricated documents and supposing them real has led to invalid, unfair assessments.
Director-general Grossi's invocations of the three locations in question in the safeguards report have commonalities:
First, Iran has been accused of failing to report, preventing access to some locations, and keeping silent in some cases, while Iran has no commitment to provide access to non-nuclear locations in accordance with the agreed protocols and standards specified by the agency. However, Iran voluntarily permitted the IAEA to inspect the locations and collect samples based on goodwill.
Second, the IAEA insists on invalid satellite images that are inconsistent with the current situation of the locations in question. It's not clear why the director-general doesn't focus on where the funds and logistics should be mobilized, instead of being hesitant by the images that can easily be faked on the virtual spaces.
Third, while the arrangements of his reporting are replete with words of suspicion, the director-general uses even more certain rhetoric to conclude analytically, not objectively, that suspicion still exists.
Fourth, the director-general introduces Iran as unsuccessful in providing the agency with "technically credible" answers on the particles found in undeclared locations regarding the locations specified in the Zionist Regime's report. He casts doubt on Iran's argument on possible human sabotage in those locations, instead of invoking the inconsistency of satellite images with the current situation of the locations to suspect reports provided by the Zionist Regime. He overlooks the clearest proofs of such a conspiracy and calls on Iran to give more convincing explanations on the inconsistency. The director-general, with a tinge of resorting to logics, can imagine that a geography vast and varied country like Iran is susceptible to be polluted in some areas due to human sabotage. If he is to overlook other evidence merely with this argument, the preplanned game of the corrupt Zionist Regime would continue and Iran should continuously keep answering the reports faked by the enemies.
Fifth, Iran and the IAEA reached an agreement last March during Grossi's Tehran visit to settle the alleged issues based on a specific roadmap within a specific timeframe. The IAEA had previously committed to protect clandestine safeguards information of member states, but the agency's performance in publicization of the issue and the following speculation and creating an anti-Iran atmosphere ahead of the BoG meeting contradicts the commitment.
Finally, where hostile, fabricated reports are not legally worth verifying and this animosity is undeniable given the assassination of Iran's nuclear scientists, Iran agreed to receive the IAEA's director-general to show goodwill and to move towards peace and agreement. Iran also facilitated verification and attended three separate technical meetings with the authorities concerned during the last two months and provided them with the required explanation and evidence. Unfortunately, the director-general's recent report surprisingly matched his speech in the European parliament which was prior to the joint statement (third round of technical talks with Iran) and this coincided with the Zionist Regime's efforts to obstruct different stages of Iran's negotiations regarding the JCPOA. In other words, the director-general's conclusion was long prepared.
It is worth noting that Iran and the IAEA agreed twice in Tehran on August 26, 2020, and March 5, 2022, to strengthen their cooperation and dialogue.
The questions raised by the IAEA for Iran should be legitimated and based on the agency's charters, comprehensive safeguards agreements, and the Additional Protocol (before Iran halted compliance) and Iran's providing answers and access is a function of its legal observations.
In fact, the IAEA's call for access didn't match article 69 of the comprehensive safeguards agreement and article 4(d) of the Additional Protocol, as Iran didn't provide any report to the IAEA in accordance with these articles to make the IAEA eligible to call for clarification.
As stated in the director-general's reports, Iran has undergone the strongest verification regime compared to all countries in the world regarding its nuclear program. This is a clear example of contradiction and injustice practiced against an IAEA member state. After the JCPOA was signed in 2015, 22 percent of all inspection performed by the IAEA throughout the world was allocated to Iran which constituted the severest verification in 20 years as said by the agency's 2021 safeguards report. The IAEA's 18 consecutive quarterly reports confirmed Iran's constructive cooperation, as proved by Iran's providing access to the IAEA's inspectors.
However, the IAEA has always raised accusations against Iran based on the allegations posed by the Zionist Regime. The US and the Zionist Regime's demand to reopen the "possible military dimensions" case regarding Iran's nuclear program which was closed in 2015 and the IAEA's invocation of fabricated information indicates a serious weak point and vulnerability of the IAEA in independent verification. It also bespeaks the risk of exerting political pressure on the international nuclear watchdog to advance illegal objectives. The agency shouldn't turn into an instrument for some government to advance their policies. Closing eyes to this will damage the IAEA's impartiality, professionalism, and independence.
If the IAEA's measures are based on information submitted by third parties or open sources, then the information collection process could be misused by third parties for political leverage against other countries.
More importantly, no provision has been made to deter such misuse and prevent misinformation. This situation could derail the IAEA's inspections and verifications.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has developed its peaceful nuclear program to meet national demands in accordance with the IAEA's rules and standards, including NPT and comprehensive safeguards agreement. The United States and allied government, the Zionist Regime in particular, obviously cannot tolerate the development of Iran's peaceful nuclear program and always try to pose fabricated obstacles against Iran. However, the Islamic Republic of Iran has overcome all hurdles thanks to God's grace, support from the Iranian nation, and non-stop endeavor by the officials and nuclear industry workers, specialists, and unknown staff so that we can safely say that Iran has reached a special position in the world now.
Considering the Fatwa of Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei in forbidding production, proliferation, stockpiling, and using weapons of mass destruction along with the unprecedented clarification by Iran and a strong verification mechanism used by the IAEA, the Islamic Republic of Iran has nothing to conceal and has no need to a nuclear weapon for of various strategic reasons.
Despite Iran's record of positive interaction with the IAEA and 18 consecutive reports confirming the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program, some countries are pushing Iran's dossier from a technical-legal phase to a political-security one. Undoubtedly, the demands that go beyond Iran's commitments in the comprehensive safeguards agreements and the Additional Protocol will damage Iran-IAEA cooperation. Iran believes that exerting pressure outside the framework of commitments and beyond the IAEA's authorities enshrined in its charters and the aforementioned agreements, would strike a blow to the foundation of countries' agreements with the IAEA. In any case, Iran will never give up on such pressures and calls on other countries to make efforts to maintain and strengthen the IAEA's independence of action to fulfill the goals of non-proliferation in an indiscriminatory manner.
An international organization, the IAEA in particular, should be cautious not to deviate through political pressure, financing methods, and the like from the path specified by the member states and maintain professionalism, independence, and observation of international rules and norms.
In the end, I should emphasize that the IAEA should avoid crediting and resorting to the information obtained through espionage and through unreliable sources. Indeed, any demand and question made by the IAEA based on alleged and invented evidence are inconsistent with the agency's charters and its verification regime. Therefore, such demands make it to responsibility of the Islamic Republic of Iran to meet them. Such unjustifiable invocations cannot and should not be a legal basis or predicate to exert pressure against countries and make allegations against them. Besides, the IAEA should not neglect the malign role of the Zionist Regime in destroying Iran-IAEA relations.
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