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IAEA to counter anti-Iran bias, says leadership runner
One of four contenders for the top job at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Argentina’s Rafael Grossi, said he would try to battle any perception of bias when dealing with Iran's nuclear program.

Grossi insisted that the UN’s nuclear energy body must defend the credibility of the global nuclear rule book, adding that the best course of action was for the IAEA to act as a neutral arbiter regarding the Iranian nuclear program.

He told The National in Vienna at the organization’s 63rd general conference that the UN nuclear agency needed to act impartially over the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

“The agency has been dealing with this in a satisfactory manner,” he said. “This is an inspecting and auditing type of exercise that does not lend itself to opinion. We are there to ascertain, to check, monitor and verify and tell it as it is, and I am extremely confident in that role.”

The accord, struck between Iran and China, France, Germany, Russia, Britain and the US, curbed Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.

"We are an instrument of transparency and we are an intelligent instrument of transparency,” he added, noting, “These series of announcements from Iran are clear and the agency is supposed to report on what they see and what they check on site."

"If I am elected, I am obliged and I must interact with Iran," Grossi pointed out.

He also stressed that nuclear power, when used peacefully, could be a force for good in the Middle East.

At its 63rd general conference, the IAEA discussed Iran’s decision on reducing its nuclear deal obligations, among other issues.

Tehran rolled back part of its nuclear commitments under the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) only after the United States unilaterally withdrew from the agreement and failed to honor its end of the accord.

“It is quite ridiculous that a regime which has ignored all the non-proliferation and disarmament commitments and developed all kinds of weapons of mass destruction is preaching to a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) whose nuclear facilities and materials are under the IAEA’s safeguards,” Iran’s permanent representative to international organizations Kazem Gharibabadi said on Wednesday, Press TV reported.

He also went on to call upon the international community not to be distracted from the Israeli regime’s atomic weapons program, and said that Tel Aviv must abandon its nukes and join the NPT immediately, putting all its nuclear facilities under the IAEA’s safeguards.

Washington’s allegations against Iran’s nuclear program come as Israel, the sole possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, has a policy of deliberate ambiguity about its nuclear program.

 

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