News ID: 230600
Published: 0119 GMT August 31, 2018

IAEA: Iran complying with nuclear obligations

IAEA: Iran complying with nuclear obligations

International Desk

Leader: Talks should continue with European states

Zarif: Honoring JCPOA not Iran’s only option

France calls for ‘permanent financial mechanisms’ for Iran trade

Iran continues to stick to the terms of its nuclear deal with world powers even after the withdrawal of the United States, the United Nations’ atomic watchdog said Thursday in a confidential report.

In the quarterly report distributed to member states, the International Atomic Energy Agency said that Iran was still complying with the key parameters of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), agreed to in 2015 by Iran and the US, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany.

The conclusion comes as the other signatories to the landmark 2015 deal — Germany, Britain, France, Russia and China — continue to try and salvage it after US President Donald Trump pulled the Untitled States out unilaterally in May and reimposed  sanctions on Iran.

In the report, the Vienna-based IAEA said it had been given access to all sites in Iran that it needed to visit and that inspectors confirmed Iran had kept within limits of heavy water and low-enriched uranium stockpiles.

“Timely and proactive cooperation by Iran in providing such access facilitates implementation of the additional protocol and enhances confidence,” the report stated, referring to the protocol detailing safeguards and tools for verification.

Regarding the rate of Iran’s production of enriched uranium, a diplomat, who was speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the report, said it had not accelerated. “The production rate is constant. There is no change whatsoever.”


Deal should bring benefits

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday that sticking to the nuclear accord is not the only way forward for Iran. “Being the party to still honor the deal in deeds & not just words is not Iran’s only option,” he said on Twitter.

Adhering to the deal should bring Iran economic benefits, Zarif said. “If preserving (the) JCPOA is the goal, then there is no escape from mustering the courage to comply with commitment to normalize Iran’s economic relations instead of making extraneous demands,” Zarif wrote on Twitter.


Trade with Iran

Speaking after the IAEA report was sent to the agency’s member states, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the deal was still holding, despite the US withdrawal.

He urged his fellow ministers, who met in Vienna on Thursday to discuss EU policy on Iran, to do more to protect Tehran from US sanctions, calling for “permanent financial mechanisms that allow Iran to continue to trade.”

The EU implemented a law this month to shield European companies from the impact of US sanctions on Tehran and has approved aid for the Iranian private sector, although large European companies are pulling out of Iran.

Speaking on Thursday while attending meetings of EU foreign and defense ministers, the EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that despite disagreements with Iran over other issues, “We believe that addressing regional disagreements with Iran can be done in a more effective manner if we maintain the nuclear deal in place.”

The other five countries have affirmed their commitment to the deal, which limits Iran’s enrichment. In exchange, Tehran was granted widespread relief from international trade, oil and banking sanctions.

However, Iran’s economy has been battered by the return of US sanctions following Trump’s decision, undermining support for the deal within Iran.

Most foreign firms have abandoned investment projects in Iran, and the next phase of renewed US sanctions in November will hit the crucial oil sector.

Leader: Talks should continue with European states

On Wednesday, Iran’s Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said Tehran should be ready to “set aside” the JCPOA if it is no longer in the country’s national interests.

The Leader said talks should continue with European states, who have been trying to find a way to salvage the agreement. However, he told President Hassan Rouhani not to rely too much on European support.

AP, AFP and Reuters contributed to this story.


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