IAEA confirms Iranian cooperation

06 March 2018

Iran is implementing its nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed to his board of governors yesterday. Amano said the plan represents a "significant gain" for nuclear verification.

Yukiya Amano addresses the IAEA Board of Governors (Image: Dean Calma/IAEA)

Amano said IAEA inspectors had been given access to all the sites and locations which they needed to visit 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, he said.

"As of today, I can state that Iran is implementing its nuclear-related commitments," Amano said in his introductory statement to the board. "The JCPOA represents a significant gain for verification. It is essential that Iran continues to fully implement those commitments. If the JCPOA were to fail, it would be a great loss for nuclear verification and for multilateralism."

IAEA inspectors now spend 3000 calendar days per year on the ground in Iran, and have installed some 2000 tamper-proof seals on nuclear material and equipment, Amano said. The agency has carried out more than 60 complementary accesses and visited more than 190 buildings since JCPOA Implementation Day, he added.

The agency collects and analyses hundreds of thousands of images captured daily by surveillance cameras in Iran, and collects over one million pieces of open source information each month, he said. These activities are supported by state-of-the-art technology, including data collection and processing systems.

"Our current verification capability is much stronger than it has ever been," Amano said.

The JCPOA was signed in July 2015 by Iran and the E3/EU+3 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK and the USA - also referred to as the P5+1 - plus the European Union) and implemented in January 2016. The IAEA is responsible for verifying and monitoring Iran's implementation of its commitments under the plan to limit its uranium enrichment activities, and eliminate its stockpile of medium- and low-enriched uranium over the next 15 years.

European leaders have voiced their support for the JCPOA, but US President Donald Trump has repeatedly described the deal, which cleared the way for the lifting of nuclear-related economic sanctions imposed against Iran, as "weak". Trump announced in January his intention to withdraw the USA from the deal unless "flaws" could be fixed.

According to Reuters, Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said this week the agreement is not re-negotiable. Speaking on Iran's al-Alam TV, Kamalvandi said Iran could resume production of high-enriched uranium "in less than 48 hours" if the USA were to pull out of the deal.

Following his address to the IAEA board, Amano told journalists that the IAEA was concentrating on its responsibility to verify and monitor Iran's implementation of its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA.

"It is not the role of the Agency to comment or speculate on the positions of parties to the agreement," he said.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News