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Head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran: We will respond if IAEA Board adopts negative resolution


Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) (file photo by Fars news agency)

Tehran will respond appropriately in case the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issues a resolution against Iran for suspending the implementation of the Additional Protocol that allowed the IAEA to carry out short-notice inspections, says the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI).

“If the Board of Governors [of the IAEA] adopts a resolution against Iran, we will show an appropriate reaction,” Ali Akbar Salehi said on Sunday on the sidelines of a meeting of the Parliament’s Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy, just a day before the IAEA’s governing board is supposed to convene for a session on Iran on Monday.

Iran’s nuclear chief further added that Tehran has sent a letter to the nuclear watchdog, informing the international body of this issue.

Iran has stopped its voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol under the Strategic Action Plan to Counter Sanctions, a law passed in December by the Parliament.

According to the move, any footage recorded by cameras at Iran’s nuclear sites will no longer be shared with the IAEA, but will be retained by Iran for three months, after which they will be permanently deleted if the US sanctions are still in place.

The IAEA Board of Governors is slated to convene its regular March meeting tomorrow to discuss a range of issues, including its verification and monitoring activities in Iran and the NPT Safeguards Agreement with the country, according to the UN nuclear watchdog’s website.

IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi visited Tehran ahead of the Additional Protocol halt to discuss issues surrounding the move. During his visit, Iran and the IAEA agreed to continue cooperation while the Iranian administration goes ahead with the implementation of the December law.

Their joint statement also contained a confidential technical annex, which Iran said contained a list of its key nuclear facilities.

“The annex to the statement is confidential … and given the detailed information contained in the annex, including the list of [Iran’s nuclear] facilities and surveillance cameras, and due to security considerations and the need for keeping secret the exact location of Iran’s key facilities, the annex will remain confidential,” Salehi explained.

Iran and six world powers, the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany, reached an agreement in 2015 over Tehran’s nuclear program. The agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was unilaterally abandoned by Washington in 2018 despite global objections.

In response to the United States’ restoration of sanctions against Iran, the country began in 2019 to adopt “remedial measures,” namely reducing its nuclear commitments under the JCPOA, a move that includes – but is not limited to – the December law.

Disregarding the failure of the previous administration’s Iran policy, the new US administration has pushed the issue toward an impasse by declining to rejoin the JCPOA and honor its commitments, even though it had promised to do so. The European signatories to the deal, also known as the E3, have once again lined up behind the US against Iran.

Russia calls on IAEA to take responsible appraoch to iran

Meanwhile, ahead of the Monday meeting, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna advised all Governors to exercise a responsible approach in order to preserve the JCPOA.

“#IAEA BoG session will start tomorrow,” Mikhail Ulyanov wrote in a tweet on Monday. “It can predetermine further developments around the Iranian nuclear programme, as well as prospects of full restoration of #JCPOA.”

“All Governors need to keep this in mind and exercise responsible approach,” Ulyanov added.


#IAEA BoG session will start tomorrow. It can predetermine further developments around the Iranian nuclear programme, as well as prospects of full restoration of #JCPOA. All Governors need to to keep this in mind and exercise responsible approach.

— Mikhail Ulyanov (@Amb_Ulyanov) February 28, 2021

Iran has already voiced readiness to resolve the issues, saying it is not interested in the escalation of tensions with the United States. But at the same time, Tehran has warned the other parties that it is ready to take further remedial measures, such as deleting the IAEA cameras’ data if the US sanctions are not lifted.

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