IAEA Inspectors Whose Designation Was Withdrawn by Iran Are French, German, Tasnim Learns

IAEA Inspectors Whose Designation Was Withdrawn by Iran Are French, German, Tasnim Learns

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) director general said on Saturday that Iran has withdrawn the designation of a number of the agency’s inspectors and Tasnim has learned that those inspectors are from France and Germany.

Iran’s move seems to have been made in response to a recent hostile and unconstructive move by the IAEA’s Board of Governors against Tehran, which was sponsored by the E3 (the UK, France and Germany) and the United States.

IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi in a statement condemned what he called Iran's “disproportionate and unprecedented” move to withdraw the designation of several of the agency’s “most experienced” inspectors assigned to conduct verification activities in the country under the NPT Safeguards Agreement.

He said Iran’s unilateral measure affects the IAEA's “normal planning and conduct” verification activities in the country and “openly contradicts the cooperation that should exist between the Agency and Iran.”

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanaani reacted to the latest claim made by the IAEA chief, saying the United States and the three European parties to the 2015 nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) have abused the UN nuclear watchdog with the purpose of achieving their own political objectives.

“Unfortunately, despite Iran's positive, constructive and continuous interaction with the IAEA, the three European countries and the United States abused the Agency's Board of Governors for their own political purposes with … the aim of damaging the atmosphere of cooperation between Iran and the Agency,” Kanaani said, referring to the three European countries. 

He said Iran has previously warned against the consequences of such efforts to politicize the UN nuclear agency.

The spokesman reiterated that Iran made the decision in accordance with Article 9 of the agreement between the Islamic Republic and the IAEA for the application of safeguards in connection with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

Kanaani once again urged the Western countries to stop abusing international organizations, including the IAEA, and allow such world bodies to carry out their “professional and neutral” activities under no political pressure.

He, however, said Iran emphasizes the need for the IAEA's impartiality and will continue its positive cooperation based on bilateral agreement.

On Wednesday, the IAEA’s Board of Governors issued a Western-sponsored statement that accused Iran of non-compliance with its safeguards commitments.

The document, signed by 62 member states of the agency, called upon Iran to take steps to address outstanding safeguards issues and provide the IAEA with information concerning its new nuclear facilities.

Separately on Wednesday, the three European signatories of the 2015 nuclear deal, France, Britain and Germany, also issued a joint statement on the sidelines of the meeting of the IAEA's Board of Governors.

They accused Iran of non-compliance with the nuclear deal, even though it was the United States that unilaterally abandoned the deal in 2018 and put its fate in limbo.

Kanaani rejected the politically-motivated statement, saying Iran and the IAEA have made “considerable progress” in boosting cooperation based on a joint statement issued in March.

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