Russia: US isolated at nuclear session
An emergency meeting of the UN nuclear watchdog held on Wednesday at the US request to weigh Iran’s reduction of commitments to a 2015 nuclear deal, did not produce any results for Washington, the Iranian ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Thursday.
“The special meeting of the Board of Governors ended without any results for the US,” Kazem Gharibabadi added.
The US Ambassador to International Organizations in Vienna Jackie Wolcott used the session of the IAEA’s Board of Governors to accuse Iran of “nuclear extortion” after it inched past the deal’s limit on enrichment levels over the past week, while still offering to hold talks with Tehran.
Iran announced on Monday it had surpassed 4.5 percent uranium enrichment – above the 3.67 percent limit under the accord.
Earlier this month, it was confirmed that Iran surpassed 300 kilograms of enriched uranium reserves, another limit that was set by the deal.
Gharibabadi said at the meeting it was an "oddity" and a "sad irony that this meeting is convened at the request of the United States…, the country that declared the JCPOA to be a 'terrible deal'".
He said the current impasse was the result of the US "outlaw behavior" and condemned what he called the "sadistic tendency" of the US to impose sanctions on Iran.
Russia's Ambassador to the IAEA Mikhail Ulyanov tweeted after the meeting that the US "was practically isolated on this issue."
At the meeting, Ulyanov said that the US could not both reject the deal and call for Iran's full implementation of it.
"Although for some reasons they only refer to Tehran, in fact the United States, which is refusing to fulfill its own obligations under the nuclear deal, lost any right to demand this from others," he said.
The 2015 accord, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, between Iran and world powers promised sanctions relief and economic benefits in return for stringent curbs on the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.
Iran has said it will disregard certain limits under the JCPOA as long as the remaining parties to the deal – in particular the UK, France and Germany – don't do more to mitigate the impact of crippling US sanctions reimposed after President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in May 2018.
Iran says all its steps are reversible if Washington returns to the agreement.
Reuters, AFP and AP contributed to this story.