September 28, 2021 – TEHRAN TIMES
TEHRAN — In yet another unconstructive move, the International Atomic Energy Agency on Sunday said Iran had prevented access to the Tesa Complex in Karaj, a facility producing centrifuges machines.
The demand is against the “joint statement” issued between Iran and the IAEA on September 12, when the Agency’s Director General Rafael Grossi visited Tehran.
In its Sunday report, the IAEA had sought to replace the memory cards at the site which has suffered damages because of the sabotage acts mainly blamed on Israel.
Iran on Monday said the demand by the IAEA “isn’t accurate and goes beyond the agreed terms of the joint statement.”
Iran added, “During the discussions in Tehran and Vienna, Iran indicated that since the Tesa Karaj Complex is still under security and judicial investigations, equipment related to this complex are not included for servicing. That’s why the phrase ‘identified equipment’ has been used in the joint statement’.”
The cooperation between Iran and the IAEA within the framework of the joint statement was insisted upon when Mohammad Eslami, chief of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), visited Vienna to attend the annual IAEA General Conference.
AEOI spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi also on Monday sent a letter of complaint to the IAEA saying the IAEA director general is seeking to “generalize” replacing all memory cards, including those at the Tesa Complex which has suffered damages.
Iran and the global nuclear watchdog have found themselves in disagreement over the contents of an understanding reached earlier this month, which was part of efforts to restore the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The new Iranian Foreign Minister had previously announced that it has no problem returning to the negotiation table in Vienna, but it needs to see serious determination by the other side to revive the JCPOA.
One day after the IAEA made such a demand, the E3 (France, Britain, and Germany) issued a statement claiming that Iran is not fully implementing the “agreement it reached with DG Grossi on 12 September and that the DG has been forced to issue a report on non-cooperation after only two weeks.”
The E3 statement also called on Iran to “immediately establish high level contacts and fully cooperate with the investigation, with a view to making tangible and rapid progress.”
Nonetheless, the E3 refrained to point out that they have been misled by cheap, second-rate, and unconstructive reports and statements by the IAEA. Iran has been compliant with all its commitments.
On the contrary, the United States and its friends are violating all sorts of internationally recognized deals, such as the NPT, the JCPOA, and so on.
Iran’s ambassador to the IAEA on Monday afternoon reacted to the remarks by the representatives of the U.S., E3, as well as the IAEA regarding the Tesa Complex, saying they cannot “remain silent” in the face the Israeli regime’s “terrorist operations” against the Iranian sites and don’t prevent it and then seek a continued IAEA surveillance of the sites that have suffered damages in the “terrorist sabotage” acts.
“When the Agency’s surveillance equipment run out of service by the Zionist regime, they should not expect Iran to install them again without any cost for this regime and without any measure by the Agency and claimant countries,” Kazem Gharibabadi asserted.
Gharibabadi added that the new agreement between Iran and the IAEA was “fully implemented during the specified time” and therefore Iran will monitor reaction to its “goodwill” and will take the “necessary moves” at each stage.
In a series of tweets earlier on Monday, Ambassador Gharibabadi said, “It is deeply unfortunate that after three terrorist sabotage operations at the facility over the past year, the IAEA has not yet condemned these heinous acts, contrary to numerous resolutions of the IAEA General Conference and the UN General Assembly, and even because of its equipment and assets and the safety and security of its inspectors.”
He added, “The joint statement of the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran and the director-general of the IAEA on September 12 was also obtained in good faith of Iran and with the aim of replacing the ‘specified equipment’ memory cards. The Agency also took action to implement this goal from September 20 to 22.”
He added, “Therefore, the director general’s report on Sep 26 isn’t accurate and goes beyond the agreed terms of the joint statement. Any decision taken by Iran on monitoring equipment is only based on political rather than legal considerations and the Agency cannot and should not consider it as one of its entitlements.”
On the sidelines of his visit to Moscow to meet with his Russian counterpart, Eslami on Tuesday said that Iran will not accept the reinstallation of cameras in damaged sites.
“The IAEA’s insistence on installing cameras in those places damaged by the terrorist operation is in line with the same operation against Iran,” the nuclear chief said.
“This is by no means acceptable,” he added.
He also noted that the IAEA’s expectation regarding reinstalling cameras will be “ineffective for sites that are damaged and still under reconstruction.”
The procession cannot continue this way. Iran, out of goodwill and respect to international bodies, has been compliant with all the agreements it has made. There are reports by the IAEA confirming this. However, Grossi’s approach in politicizing the IAEA, which is purely a technical body, is unconstructive and will not help negotiations to revive the JCPOA.
Russian ambassador to international organizations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov tweeted on Monday, “At today’s #IAEA BoG I stressed that the denial of access to facility in Karaj isn’t a violation of safeguards, just partial implementation of voluntary transparency measures by #Iran. However it’s important to find a positive solution in the interests of Iran and #JCPOA.”
Russia also puts on a pin on the politicization of the nuclear case by the UN nuclear watchdog. Perhaps, a more constructive approach would be not to leak classified data given by Iran to media outlets. As for the United States, perhaps, they need to take “a few steps” and lift sanctions, as a facilitator of JCPOA revival negotiations.