The IAEA should not fall under the influence of Israel’s hostile claims against Iran

IRAN – The recent visit of Rafael Grossi, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, to Iran has raised expectations for a potential breakthrough in relations between Iran and the IAEA regarding the country’s peaceful nuclear program.

However, for a significant change to occur, both sides, particularly the UN agency, must be willing to take decisive actions to address the situation once and for all.

Despite Grossi’s previous visits to Iran, few have resulted in the level of optimism currently expressed by both parties.

During a press conference in Isfahan, Grossi announced an agreement with Iran to implement joint operational measures based on a statement issued in March 2023, which he said addresses “all concerns” regarding Iran’s nuclear program.

Mohammad Eslami, the Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), also confirmed that the agreement reached between the two sides in March of last year is a good basis for mutual cooperation.

“Although Iran’s ill-wishers are always dissatisfied with the country’s interactions with the agency and seek to downplay the measures and decisions through stigmatization and destructive literature, both sides believe that the recent joint statement is a good basis for cooperation,” Eslami said.

The agreement demands that Iran provide technical explanations for the reported presence of “uranium particles” in three locations. Tehran addressed some of the reports shortly after the 2023 talks with the IAEA, but its cooperation with the agency seemed to get hampered after the West interfered by upping pressure against the country for political purposes.

IAEA needs to decouple from politicization 

While talking to journalists, Grossi vowed that the IAEA would prioritize Iran’s role and disregard external influences.

Eslami, for his part, said he hopes attempts by the Zionist regime, which has carried out several sabotage attacks on Iranian nuclear sites and assassinated a number of the country’s nuclear scientists, would not affect interactions between Tehran and the IAEA.

“At this point, when the nature of this regime has been revealed more than ever to the world and protests are taking place all over the world, we must pay attention to the fact that this destructive regime has been behind anti-Iran actions, and we should no longer use the Zionist regime’s remarks and positions as a criterion,” the AEOI chief maintained.

The UN nuclear watchdog and its Director-General have long faced persistent allegations of being under the influence of Western and Israeli politicians. The IAEA has often laid out egregious accusations against Iran while overlooking its extensive cooperation with the agency.

“Grossi is close to political circles in the West and throughout his different positions in the IAEA, he has acted more like a politician than a watchdog chief that’s supposed to make assumptions and allegations based on authentic reports,” said Hassan Beheshti Pour, a senior analyst of international affairs. “I don’t think, however, that Grossi’s mistakes should make us cut ties with the IAEA. This is the perfect opportunity for us to finally put an end to all these unfounded accusations. Also, that way, the West will no longer be able to use our nuclear program as an excuse to fulfill its political interests,” he told the Tehran Times.

Iran’s nuclear sites are among the most heavily inspected by the IAEA globally. The close cooperation largely began after Tehran and the 5+1 group of countries agreed Iran would limit its already peaceful nuclear program in exchange for the termination of sanctions. The deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was signed in 2015 and scrapped by the U.S. less than three years later when then-President Donald Trump withdrew from the pact and reinstated the sanctions under the “maximum pressure campaign”. Germany, Britain, and France although officially still part of the JCPOA have followed in the footsteps of Washington in practice.

“I think there is a general understanding that we should resolve our issues with the IAEA once we have dealt with the revival of the JCPOA. I say we should begin to treat the IAEA as an independent body and if the Agency also wants that, it should make sure that it maintains a neutral and independent position under all circumstances,” Beheshti Pour added.



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