Iranian Envoy Hits Back at US’ Bolton over Anti-Tehran Remarks
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s ambassador to international organizations in Vienna slammed remarks by US National Security Adviser John Bolton about Tehran’s nuclear program and said the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is not a subsidiary of the US so that Bolton could decide on its agenda.
In a post on his Twitter account on Monday, Kazem Gharibabadi censured Bolton who accused Iran of “concealing nuclear material and/or activities,” amid a visit to Iran by the acting chief of the IAEA, Cornel Feruta.
“The agency is not one of the bodies affiliated with the US government so that Bolton could determine the agenda of visits by its officials,” he noted.
Feruta’s visit to Iran took place within the framework of routine Iran-IAEA interaction and cooperation, he added.
He further rejected “any claims about covert nuclear activities by Iran” and said the visit had no specific agenda, as Bolton wished.
In a tweet on Saturday, Bolton said, “IAEA Acting Director General going to Iran just as IAEA informs its Board that #Iran may be concealing nuclear material and/or activities. We join with other @iaeaorg Board member states eager to get a full report as soon as possible.”
The European Commission said Friday it was relying on the International Atomic Energy Agency in regard to Iran’s nuclear activities.
Spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi on Saturday announced details of the country’s “third step” in reducing commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Back in July, Iran had declared the second step to reduce its commitments by ramping up the level of uranium enrichment to over 3.67 percent.
Iran maintains that the new measures are not designed to harm the nuclear deal but to save the accord by creating a balance in the commitments.
Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, US, Britain, France, and Germany) on July 14, 2015, reached a conclusion over the text of the JCPOA.
The accord took effect in January 2016 and was supposed to terminate all nuclear-related sanctions against Iran all at once, but its implementation was hampered by the US policies and its eventual withdrawal from the deal.
On May 8, 2018, US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the nuclear accord.
Following the US withdrawal, Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the deal.
However, the EU’s failure to ensure Iran’s economic interests forced Tehran to stop honoring certain commitments, including an unlimited rise in the stockpile of enriched uranium.
Kamalvandi recently said that the country’s enriched uranium stockpile has reached 360 to 370 kilograms.