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Board of IAEA issues mild rebuke to Iran

IAEA mildly reprimands Iran over suspect nuclear sites, Atlantic Council, JUN 22, 2020 by Mark Fitzpatrick After more than a year of stonewalling about apparently undeclared nuclear material at a site in Iran—and months of refusing access to two other sites—the Islamic Republic of Iran could have been in for harsh condemnation when the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors met on June 19.

Iran hawks in and outside the US government wanted a finding of non-compliance with Iran’s safeguards agreement with the IAEA and a report to the UN Security Council to buttress their campaign of “maximum pressure.”

That did not happen. Instead, the board on June 19 issued a mild rebuke, echoing IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi’s expression of “serious concern” that Iran has not provided access to two locations where unreported nuclear activity allegedly took place nearly two decades ago. He added that Iran has not clarified Agency questions related to possible undeclared nuclear material and nuclear-related activities……..
Iran has found international sympathy since US President Donald Trump’s unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA two years ago and re-imposition of draconian sanctions. It must not be easy for Iranian citizens to distinguish between the illegitimate pressure waged by Washington and the IAEA’s entirely legitimate insistence on knowing what happened with unreported nuclear material—reportedly traces of natural (not enriched) uranium. But being bullied by Trump does not obviate Iran’s obligations under its safeguards agreement, predating the JCPOA, to answer IAEA questions. ……..
The current US administration is hypocritical in condemning Iran for not accepting complementary access requests, as required by the Additional Protocol. Not to excuse Iran’s intransigence, but its obligation to abide by the Additional Protocol is derived from the JCPOA, from which the US has reneged on its obligations for sanctions relief. Thus, the E3 was right to express concern about actions by both Washington and Tehran.

June 25, 2020 - Posted by | politics international, USA

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