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EghtesadOnline: Iran has always called on the International Atomic Energy Agency to maintain its cooperation within the technical framework and avoid allowing certain countries to pursue their political goals in the name of the global watchdog body, a senior diplomat said.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh made the statement ahead of a quarterly meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors where western members could push for a censure motion against Iran. 

“We will make the required decisions on the basis of developments and circumstances,” he said at a regular press briefing on Monday, ISNA reported. 

The remarks also came as IAEA chief Rafael Grossi was set to arrive in Tehran to discuss outstanding issues about inspection of Iranian sites. 

He is expected to meet the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, as well as Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. 

“We hope this trip will be a constructive one like previous visits,” Khatibzadeh said. 

He stressed that Iran has always had technical cooperation with the agency within the framework of its Safeguards Agreement, the IAEA statute and other relevant procedures. 

Grossi confirmed his departure for Tehran in a tweet, hoping to establish “a fruitful and cooperative channel of direct dialogue” so the agency can resume essential verification activities in the country.

Russia’s representative to the IAEA also said the trip would be a good opportunity for the agency and the new authorities in Iran to establish closer contacts and cooperation on issues of common interest. 

“We wish the two sides to have productive discussions!” Mikhail Ulyanov tweeted. 

 

 

No Infinite Window 

Iran restricted the agency’s inspections of its nuclear activities as part of its countermeasures against the sweeping sanctions that the United States reimposed after its exit from the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The IAEA chief reached a last-minute agreement with Iran to keep cameras recording, only to leave the footage sealed until a possible removal of US sanctions.

Grossi visited Tehran in September for discussions on the continued implementation of the agreement, as a result of which the agency could service its equipment and replace memory cards, except for a complex in Karaj.

The workshop had earlier been subject to an attack which destroyed IAEA cameras. Iran blamed the incident on Israel and called for condemnation by the agency and the international community. 

“The agency knows well that all the sabotage and terrorist operations conducted by the Zionist regime in Iran’s soil, which have been met with silence on the part of some countries who claim [fairness], have had a considerable effect on some technical dimensions [of Iran’s nuclear program],” Khatibzadeh said, adding that these issues are being discussed between Tehran and the IAEA. 

The international watchdog has also raised questions about uranium traces allegedly found at several Iranian sites, saying Tehran’s responses have not been satisfactory. 

These issues, if remain unsolved, could potentially result in an anti-Iran resolution at the IAEA board meeting, jeopardizing efforts to restore the JCPOA in talks that have been underway in Vienna, Austria, since April.

The negotiations were suspended in June after six rounds as a result of a change of government in Iran, but are set to restart on Nov. 29, a few days after the board meeting. 

Analysts and diplomats believe it is unlikely for western countries to push for such a motion at the IAEA at this point.  

Khatibzadeh said Iran is engaging in a new round of talks with a serious determination to remove the “unilateral, extra-territorial, cruel and illegal” sanctions imposed against its nation, and hopes the other sides also come to Vienna in good faith. 

“If the JCPOA does not have specified and tangible economic and commercial benefits for Iran, the other side must definitely know that this window would not remain open for them forever,” he said, highlighting a parliamentary law that instructs the government to resume pre-JCPOA nuclear activities in case the talks fail. 

While sending contradictory messages to Iran, the US continues its sanctions policy and at the same time resorts to deception to present a fake version of the issue, according to Khatibzadeh, but such efforts are not to their advantage. 

“The US must lift its sanctions and give clear assurances, this is the only way that can help this country reach an agreement in Vienna,” he said. 

 

IAEA Political Agendas