Nov 23, 2019, 10:10 AM
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Iran urges Europe to pay price for maintaining diplomacy achievements

Tehran, Nov 23, IRNA - Iranian ambassador to the International Atomic Agency (IAEA) in a statement urged Europeans to pay the necessary price for maintaining the significant achievements of diplomacy.

"It is quite obvious that adopting such an approach and ignoring the facts on the ground indicates that they are not ready to pay the necessary price for the sake of maintaining the most significant achievement of diplomacy and the cornerstone of non- proliferation architecture, as they say," Kazem Gharib Abadi, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Vienna said addressing the IAEA Board of Governors on Verification and Monitoring in the Islamic Republic of Iran in Light of United Nations Security Council resolution 2231 (2015).

He noted that "Iran has shown its goodwill by implementing all its commitments under the deal wholeheartedly, and as the world witnessed, the Agency has continuously reported the full compliance of Iran with the  JCPOA.  The Islamic Republic of Iran has entered into this deal in a win-win approach for all participants. However, if it is to be the only, and I stress, the only participant who bears the burden and implements the deal unilaterally, such a lopsided implementation, naturally, would not last long, and gradual cessation of implementation of commitments would be the first step for Iran to take to bring back the lost balance in the deal."

"It is a matter of fact that, all participants to the deal believe that this deal is not made out of any presumptuous confidence; rather it was made out of lack of confidence with a strong verification regime, which means verification of Iran’s commitment vis- à- vis – ideally   speaking - verification of the commitments of the other participants," he said.

Excerpts of his speech contained that "With the US unilateral unlawful withdrawal from the deal and imposition of the inhuman sanctions against Iran, as well as the inability of the European partners in maintaining the inherent balance in the deal, it is difficult to talk about maintaining or building confidence. In this new situation, it was obvious that the whole Annex II and part of Annex III of the deal become void of their values.

All these malign behaviors resulted in completely preventing Iran to benefit from what it was righteously entitled to expect under the JCPOA, and which was the essential basis of the consent of Iran to be bound by the JCPOA.

However, the Islamic Republic of Iran hopes that the rest of the participants of the JCPOA as well as the international community would bring this derailed train back into its proper course of action, as it was in the first two years since the implementation day, when the other participants were somehow implementing the provisions of the deal; so that, we all would come back to the confidence-building track and the world could witness confidence to multilateral frameworks.

For  Iran, the remaining participants of the JCPOA, especially the EU/E3, should take practical measures towards confidence-building and try to restore the level of confidence which already existed before. Iran’s measure in the past four years after the implementation day is a vivid testament of its determination to build constructive relations with the European partners and its willingness for finding a rational and diplomatic resolution of the issues; however, unfortunately, they have not taken any credible practical step to garner confidence and bring back the lost balance of the deal. Iran tries to protect its national interest in accordance with international rules, regulations and negotiated agreements, and even the recent steps were taken by Iran to cease the implementation of some of its commitments  under  the  JCPOA  not  only  are  the  continuation  of  its  full compliance with the provisions of the deal consistent with its paragraph 36, but also do not break any of its international obligations, and Iran still is acting within the nuclear deal.

Unfortunately, instead of sincere practical measures, the Europeans, on one hand, sufficed to general statements on their obligations, and on the other, in their reference to the cessation of implementation of parts of Iran’s commitment, they often forget to even touch on the distrustful role of the US as a root- cause of this situation by disavowing itself from the deal, or their own inactions! It is quite obvious that adopting such an approach and ignoring the facts on the ground indicates that they are not ready to pay the necessary price for the sake of maintaining the most significant achievement of diplomacy and the cornerstone of non- proliferation architecture, as they say.

Against this background, Iran’s behavior should not be questioned in this regard, because after the US withdrawal from the deal and the re-imposition of lifted sanctions, Iran has shown a “strategic patience” for a year, and in the meantime, tried to allow the other participants to find possible remedies for the US withdrawal. During this period of time, the E3/EU were asking Iran to remain in the deal and they instead would try to find alternative plans in guaranteeing the benefits for Iran as envisaged in the deal. On this account, Iran waited for a whole year, but unfortunately, no practical result was achieved in that regard.

Therefore, in the long run, on the 8th of May 2019, Iran has decided to resort to the provisions of the JCPOA, taking transparent and gradual remedial steps to cease performing its commitments under this  JCPOA in a step- by- step, target-oriented, and reversible manner.

The steps taken by Iran in this regard were neither retaliatory measures, nor what some called “less for less approach”, but it is exactly in accordance with the mechanism foreseen in paragraph 36 of the deal.

During this period, there was an interval of 60 days between each step, so that enough chance would be given to diplomacy. The other main reason for adopting such a gradual and step- by- step approach by Iran, was its sincere willingness to keep the deal intact and prevent it from failure.

But since no solution was found and at the same time the US increased its unlawful sanctions regime, there was no other choice for Iran but to continue to exercise its rights under the deal.

However, Iran has shown its goodwill at all times and expected that such an approach receives also goodwill and some practical measures on their part.

Nevertheless, it is most noteworthy that, Iran is still acting within the framework of the deal and is ready to revert to its full implementation provided that its legitimate rights, as envisaged in the deal is guaranteed and met.

Various reactions were shown by different countries vis- à- vis Iran’s recent gradual steps. If the JCPOA is to survive, the only way is for all to implement their commitments as envisaged in the deal and its Annexes. While it is evident that the other participants of the JCOPA are unable to do their parts in the deal, it would be irresponsible to expect that Iran does not use the remedial tools envisaged in the deal itself!

Since there were references to unfounded and irrelevant allegations by a few delegations, I would like to raise a few points of clarification, as follows:

1. Iran is a party to the NPT and the Agency, and is implementing its obligations in a very transparent manner. At the same time, it has certain rights as well under the relevant instruments.

Therefore, no pretext, pressure or even baseless allegations of proliferation risk regarding resuming some nuclear activities would cause Iran to stop or restrict exercising its rights in accordance with its national plans.

It should be reminded that the nuclear policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is clearly spelled out by its officials at different levels. Theologically speaking, it is clear by the Supreme Leader’s religious decree (or Fatwa) that nuclear weapons have no place in Iran’s policies, neither have they any place in the country’s security and defensive doctrine.

2. The delegate of the US once again reiterated some allegations about it's country’s readiness to negotiate with Iran, which seems to be pretty much a political gesture to shoulder off its responsibilities for non-compliance with its international obligations. If the US is serious about entering into negotiations, it should, first, remove all re-imposed sanctions, so that the ground would be leveled. Only then, negotiations could  be followed under the framework of the JCPOA   Joint Commission. Continuation of the imposition of sanctions and other unilateral coercive measures are not consistent and coherent with their claims for negotiations.

3. Regardless  of what is happening in relations to the  JCPOA, it is obvious and the DG’s and ADG’s reports on this agenda in the past four years have shown at least one important point, and that is: Iran is complying with its obligations.

Therefore, baseless allegations made by a few delegates, including one of the Israeli regimes in this meeting, are just playing dirty politics to damage the existing positive momentum in the cooperation between Iran and the Agency.

I would like to reiterate that with the abysmal record of such a regime in non- accession to and non- compliance with all international norms and standards in the area of non- proliferation, and disarmament, its representative is in no position to preach others on something they do not respect themselves.

It is well- known that the Israeli regime was the main adversary of JCPOA since the beginning and spared no effort in destroying it.  We believe that the pressures exerted by this regime so far on other countries in this regard were not effective and that is the reason it has diverted its focus on the Agency since some time ago.

Fabrication of documents and providing diversionary information to the Agency and the Member States by this regime is not a new phenomenon. It is regretful that this regime, who is developing different types of WMDs, is doing all it can to mislead the public and the international community from the real threat to the regional and international peace, security and stability, and turn Iran’s peaceful nuclear program as a fabricated and unreal threat.

4. Let me emphasize again, Madam Chairperson, the Islamic Republic of Iran wishes to have the best relationships of its kind with all the Persian Gulf countries, as we have with some of them, and welcomes proposals for dialogue and addressing differences.

Unfortunately, I have to reiterate that it is a very disappointing fact that for some countries in the Middle East, especially UAE and KSA, a continuation of war and tensions are closely linked with their survival. We are hoping and waiting for a day when they come to their senses.

5. Saudi Arabia, as a country with a very non- transparent nuclear programme, while  is a party to the NPT and has a bilateral Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement (CSA) in force with the IAEA, regrettably it still has a so-called Small Quantities Protocol (SQP) in force that exempts the country from the obligation of hosting IAEA safeguards inspections.

Despite the Agency’s repeated requests for many years, KSA has not yet accepted the updated model SQP, which limits the eligibility of states for the SQP. Unfortunately, it has been revealed that such irresponsible behavior of Saudi Arabia is also rewarded by the Trump administration under a transactional and profit-centered approach to foreign policymaking, which approved the transfer of nuclear know-how to Saudi Arabia seven times.

The Agency and its Member States must make it clear to Saudi Arabia that the international community will not tolerate any deviation from a peaceful nuclear program.

6. On the issue of the very location: It is promising that since the beginning, when the Agency informed Iran that they had some questions on a specific location, Iran has shown cooperation and transparency, and granted full access to the Agency to visit the location in question and collect samples.

It is also clear from the Agency’s statements that there is ongoing cooperation on this issue, namely, Iran has answered several times to the questions raised by the Agency, and the IAEA high officials visited Iran several times to discuss the issue.

Therefore, we believe that we should avoid any immature conclusion.

Additionally, while interaction continues between Iran and the Agency on this issue, and when Iran is cooperating extensively and constructively with the IAEA on verification activities, talking about any artificial time- frame and any effort to aggrandize this routine issue would be aimed at distorting the facts for political aims and will have negative consequences on the cooperation.

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