Richard Nephew, who served as the lead sanctions expert for the U.S. team negotiating with Iran, is of the opinion that “It is the IAEA's responsibility to investigate information that it receives.”
“The Agency sought access to two of the locations. Iran has not provided access to these locations and has not engaged in substantive discussions to clarify the Agency’s questions. This is adversely affecting the Agency’s ability to clarify and resolve these questions and to provide credible assurance of the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran. I call on Iran to cooperate immediately and fully with the Agency, including by providing prompt access to the locations specified by the Agency.”[…] “The Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of nuclear material declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement. Evaluations regarding the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran continue,” Mr Grossi added.
During the week of 9th March, member states of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have an opportunity to de-escalate rising international tension over Iran’s refusal to provide the IAEA information about its nuclear activities. Whether they succeed may depend on the agency’s Board of Governors (BOG) transcending polarisation that in 2019 factored in BOG debate and that has again broken out on the eve of the March conclave. In the view of the overwhelming majority of board members, Tehran must comply with its safeguards obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) by answering questions based on the IAEA’s findings and information.
This report of the Director General is on the implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement1 and the Additional Protocol2 in the Islamic Republic of Iran (Iran). It describes the Agency’s efforts and interactions with Iran to clarify information relating to the correctness and completeness of Iran’s declarations under its Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol.
Iranians want their government to push back against foreign pressure, not cave to it, or turn the other cheek. After U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA, 60 percent said in May 2019 that Iran should withdraw, too, rather than remain committed along with the other P5+1 countries. The Rouhani government pursued the latter course of action for a year, then started to incrementally exceed some JCPOA limits in an effort to get other signatories to provide more of the promised benefits. That policy was much more popular (74% approval in October 2019) than the previous wait-and-see approach. Comparable numbers favored tit-for-tat responses to other forms of foreign pressure, including violations of Iranian airspace and water, and attacks on Iranian vessels and planes.Despite economic unhappiness, public support for additional nuclear concessions remains low. In October 2019, after a series of more stringent U.S. sanctions had taken effect, only 4 percent of survey Iranians said Iran should accept U.S. demands for a longer-duration agreement, only 35 percent approved of that in return for greater sanctions relief than the JCPOA offered, and 58 percent remained unconditionally opposed to a longer agreement. The 48 percent of respondents who said that sanctions have had a great negative impact are no more willing to extend the duration of JCPOA limits than those who say sanctions have had some, little, or no negative effect. These numbers mirrored Iranian responses when the same questions were asked in 2016 after Trump’s election.
In this policy brief, Mark Hibbs argues that the IAEA Secretariat should explain to member states on the board why it is important and urgent that Iran cooperate with the IAEA. In addition, underlined by a mutual US-Russian understanding, Russia could prevent crisis escalation by conditioning its support for Iran upon Iran’s cooperation with the IAEA. More generally, Hibbs argues that Washington and Moscow should attempt to reestablish common nonproliferation understandings at the IAEA; what for several decades beginning during the Cold War had been comprehensive and lasting comity between the two countries is now broken.
The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran is in jeopardy. European governments should use the JCPOA’s dispute-resolution mechanism both to pursue immediate measures to de-escalate regional tensions and to explore a follow-up agreement – or an alternative should the current deal collapse.
Even though the EU, China, and Russia have spent the past 21 months criticizing the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal, in practice they have been unable to create the conditions for Iran to reap its economic benefits. Banks and private businesses are unwilling to work with Iran for fear of U.S. secondary sanctions and punitive measures. As such, it seems the EU, China, and Russia should now take a step towards enforcing the U.N. “Uniting for peace” resolution. The resolution has already been used ten times and resolves that if the Security Council fails to maintain international peace and security when one of its permanent members uses its power of veto in cases of threat against peace, breach of peace, or act of aggression, the General Assembly will immediately consider the matter and make recommendations to its members.
2020-02-11Speech of Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), during the International Conference on Nu
Iran’s nuclear chief says it is about time for Europe to play its role as a main JCPOA stakeholder in saving the 2015 nuclear deal through fulfilling their commitments irrespective of the US administration’s unjust pressures.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has said that Europe must ensure Iran’s benefits from the nuclear deal if it wants the deal to survive. “If we want the Iran nuclear deal to survive, we need to ensure that Iran benefits if it returns to full compliance,” he wrote in an article in the Project Syndicate published on Saturday. Borrell visited Iran on Feb. 3. He held talks with Foreign Minister Zarif, President Rouhani and Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani. Elsewhere in his speech, Salehi said as a member state to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran maintains that in line with Article IV of the NPT, nothing “shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the parties to the treaty to develop research, production, and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination."