EghtesadOnline: At a private reception for diplomats on Wednesday, the UN nuclear chief strongly criticized efforts to hamstring his organization that has been at the forefront of nuclear security and verification of Tehran’s compliance with the international nuclear deal, according to two foreign officials present there.
Without naming Israel and the United States, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Organization Yukiya Amano made it clear that the two were the source of his ire, the officials said, Bloomberg reported.
“The agency’s independence must not be undermined,” Amano said, according to the IAEA’s website. “If attempts are made to micro-manage or put pressure on the agency in nuclear verification; that is counterproductive and extremely harmful.”
Three years into the nuclear accord, under which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear activities in return for sanctions relief, IAEA inspectors say Tehran is in full compliance, Financial Tribune reported.
However, that has not stopped the US administration from backing out of the agreement, piling on new penalties and trying to use the agency to turn on the pressure screws with help from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
US President Donald Trump’s hardline stance on Iran has heightened tensions with other signatories to the agreement, namely China, France, Germany, Russia and Britain.
Netanyahu went to the US Congress to lobby against the agreement before it was signed and has continued to criticize the deal ever since.
Last year, Netanyahu called a press conference to announce Israeli agents had stolen scores of documents from a warehouse in Tehran that he claimed showed Iran had given wrong information to the UN agency about its previous nuclear activities.
Iran has denied the allegation and resisted reopening a 12-year IAEA investigation into its past activities.
The US mission to IAEA in Vienna said in an emailed response to questions that the watchdog “can continue to count on the full support of the United States” as it carries out its “important mandate in Iran”.