Iran speaker warns of reper­cus­sions for IAEA

Muscat Daily - - FRONT PAGE -

Tehran, Iran - Iran’s par­lia­men­tary speaker on Sun­day warned of un­spec­i­fied reper­cus­sions for the UN’s nu­clear watch­dog if Euro­pean na­tions that launched a dis­pute mech­a­nism against the Is­lamic repub­lic act ‘un­fairly’.

Bri­tain, France and Ger­many launched a process last week charg­ing Iran with fail­ing to ob­serve the terms of the 2015 deal cur­tail­ing its nu­clear pro­gramme, while Tehran ac­cuses the bloc of in­ac­tion over US sanc­tions.

The EU three in­sisted they re­mained com­mit­ted to the agree­ment, which has al­ready been se­verely un­der­mined by the US exit from it in 2018 and its reim­po­si­tion of uni­lat­eral sanc­tions on key sec­tors of Iran’s econ­omy.

“What the three Euro­pean coun­tries did re­gard­ing Iran’s nu­clear is­sue... is un­for­tu­nate,” par­lia­men­tary speaker Ali Lar­i­jani was quoted as say­ing by state news agency IRNA.

“We clearly an­nounce that if Europe, for any rea­son, uses Ar­ti­cle 37 of the nu­clear agree­ment un­fairly, then Iran will make a se­ri­ous de­ci­sion re­gard­ing co­op­er­a­tion with the agency,” he said, re­fer­ring to the In­ter­na­tional Atomic En­ergy Agency (IAEA).

Since May 2019, Iran has pro­gres­sively scaled back some com­mit­ments un­der the agree­ment in re­sponse to the US sanc­tions and Europe’s in­abil­ity to cir­cum­vent them.

It has stressed, how­ever, that they can be re­versed if Tehran’s in­ter­ests are re­alised.

Iran’s lat­est and fi­nal step in Jan­uary en­tailed for­go­ing the limit on the num­ber of ma­chines used to make ura­nium more po­tent.

The 2015 nu­clear deal - known as the Joint Com­pre­hen­sive Plan of Ac­tion (JCPOA) - was struck in Vi­enna by Iran, the EU three, the United States, China and Rus­sia.

It has a pro­vi­sion that al­lows a party to claim sig­nif­i­cant non­com­pli­ance by an­other party be­fore a joint com­mis­sion.

Ar­ti­cles 36 and 37 of the deal say if the is­sue is not re­solved by the com­mis­sion, it then goes to an ad­vi­sory board and even­tu­ally to the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, which could reim­pose sanc­tions.

The de­ci­sion to be­gin the so­called dis­pute mech­a­nism process comes as ten­sions soar be­tween the West and Iran fol­low­ing the killing of top com­man­der Qasem Soleimani in a US airstrike, and the ad­mis­sion by Tehran days later that it had ac­ci­den­tally shot down a Ukrainian air­liner. “The is­sue is not Iran’s be­hav­iour,” said speaker.

‘It is Amer­ica’s threats that have pushed a pow­er­ful Euro­pean coun­try to a hu­mil­i­at­ing and un­just’ po­si­tion, said Lar­i­jani.

(AFP)

This file photo shows tech­ni­cians out­side the build­ing hous­ing the re­ac­tor of the Bushehr nu­clear power plant, in Bushehr on Fe­bru­ary 25, 2009

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