Efforts to save JCPOA
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) once again reaffirmed Iran’s full compliance with its commitments under the 2015 landmark nuclear deal.
In a statement to the 73rd Regular Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Friday, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said Iran “is implementing its nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). It is essential that Iran continues to fully implement those commitments.”
“The agency continues 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,” Amano added.
Under the nuclear deal reached between Iran and six world powers – the United States, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia – in 2015, Iran agreed to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions.
US President Donald Trump, however, withdrew Washington in May from the landmark agreement, and reimposed unilateral sanctions against Tehran.
Other signatories to the JCPOA have slammed Washington’s decision to abandon the agreement, which has also been endorsed by a UN Security Council resolution, saying they will work to keep the accord alive.
The Trump administration, however, restored “toughest” sanctions ever against Iran on Monday.
The IAEA has said that Iran has stayed within the limits set in the nuclear deal on its enriched uranium level, its stock of enriched uranium and other items.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that new US sanctions have had no effect on Iran’s economy. “The sanctions have had no impact on our economy because America had already used all the weapons at its disposal and there was nothing new to use against us,” Rouhani said in remarks carried live on national television.
Earlier this week, the administration of US President Donald Trump unleashed a second round of sanctions against Iran. The punitive measures targeted 700 individuals, banks, aircraft, ships and companies tied to Iran’s energy and financial industries.
In May, Trump exited Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six powers and Washington reimposed a first round of sanctions on Iran in August which had been lifted under the accord.
“They just issued a long list of banks, their branches ... and airlines and their planes. And this shows that they are merely trying to affect the Iranian nation psychologically,” Rouhani said after a meeting with the heads of the Parliament and the Judiciary.
The Trump administration had earlier vowed to reduce Tehran’s oil revenue to zero, but it went back on its pledge and gave waivers to almost all major customers of the country.
“It has now become clear that America cannot cut Iran’s oil exports to zero,” Rouhani added.
“Either all [countries] in the region export oil or if Iran’s oil exports are to stop, others will be in trouble,” he said.
Rouhani also said the US seeks to exert pressure on the Iranian people through imposing “inappropriate” sanctions.
He rejected Washington’s claim that it is not after putting pressure on the Iranian nation, but rather on the Iranian government and the Islamic establishment.
The claim, Rouhani said, is “totally incorrect and inaccurate, and they (the American officials) have themselves exposed this fact.”
He further stressed that the Iranian people were already standing against US sanctions contrary to what Washington expected.
“The Iranian people have demonstrated their resistance and withstanding and it is clear that the one who is thinking about pressure and oppression against the people is the ruling US administration, not the other side,” Rouhani said.
“They are the ones who want to negatively affect people’s lives and their everyday livelihood through inappropriate and wrong sanctions,” he added.
Rouhani also said that the US had targeted the country’s banking system as well as its exports of oil and other goods to hit the Islamic Republic’s revenues and its import of basic goods.
Reuters and Press TV contributed to this story.