AEOI spokesman: Iran seeks to strengthen JCPOA

Iran Daily - - Front Page - By Farzam Vanaki

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.

Amano visit

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

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