AEOI spokesman: Iran seeks to strengthen JCPOA
Iran is currently seeking ways to strengthen the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed between Tehran and the P5+1 group in July 2015, to remove obstacles to the execution of the deal and guarantee its successful implementation. Speaking to Iran Daily on the sidelines of the 23rd Press Exhibition currently underway in the Iranian capital of Tehran, Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), added that the JCPOA is an international document endorsed by the Security Council of the United Nations.
“At present, there is a rift in opinions about the JCPOA in the US. Although the country’s government is responsible for deciding about the future of the deal, a large number of Americans are against the current policies of US President Donald Trump’s administration. Up to this point, the trend followed by the US government has reflected efforts to both grant waivers on Iran sanctions and suspend them and poison the general atmosphere, in an effort to create ambiguity [about the implementation of the JCPOA] and prevent Iran from benefiting from the opportunities provided [by the removal of sanctions] in the POST-JCPOA era. This condition cannot last for a long time.”
Whether Washington opts to remain committed to the JCPOA, he added, or decides to withdraw from the deal, it will be unable to create an atmosphere in which Iran fails to reap benefits from the JCPOA.
“Our efforts are, at present, focused on imposing our will on the new US government. The situation was more or less the same in the past [during the administration of the former US president Barack Obama]. At that time, Washington sought to force Iran into dismantling its centrifuges all at once. This is while a number of Iran’s centrifuges are operating at present. Likewise, they refused to acquiesce to a large number of Iran’s demands and were reluctant to recognize many of the Middle Eastern country’s rights in the beginning, but they eventually had to [change their approach and] yield to them and acknowledge Iran’s rights as they began to wake up to reality.”
He said he believes that the Middle Eastern state’s international status and regional position would eventually compel the US to accept the reality about Iran and the JCPOA.
Commenting on Sunday’s visit by the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano, to Iran, Kamalvandi said this was the IAEA chief’s third trip to Tehran following the signing of the JCPOA.
Amano was in Tehran for talks with Iranian officials as part of the regular dialogue between the two sides.
According to the IAEA, discussions were expected to focus on the verification and monitoring of the implementation of the JCPOA.
He added, “Of course, in the past, we have held a large number of meetings and negotiations with him [Amano], among which are the ones recently hosted by Vienna and Rome. In fact, we have negotiated with Amano five times. We have also held talks with Amano’s deputies. These negotiations were aimed at exploring ways to carry out Iran’s obligations under the JCPOA and the Additional Protocol to the Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) properly and correctly so that the IAEA would confirm Iran’s commitment to the deal in the end.”
He added that although this was a herculean and complicated task which involved many technical details, ultimately it produced favorable results.
“We have prepared eight reports,” he said, adding that Amano is willing to see the implementation of the JCPOA continue and that is why he holds negotiations with different individuals on the issue. He recently visited Paris to this end.”
He said Iran has so far been successful in fulfilling its obligations, however, a difficult path lies ahead.
“We [the AEOI] are responsible for dealing with the technical issues, whereas the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in charge of addressing nontechnical matters. But we are in coordination with each other.”
He expressed hope that the obstacles posed by the US to the implementation of the JCPOA will be removed and that Iran would be able to enhance the JCPOA.
The JCPOA has to be enhanced, otherwise, there would be no deal at all, Kamalvandi concluded.
AMIR RAJABI/IRAN DAILY