Experts explain why Iran could have IAEA inspectors stay in country for 6-month period
Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 22
By Saeed Isayev - Trend:
Following the nuclear agreement with the P5+1 group, Iran has started to implement it's part of the deal, by halting enrichment of uranium at nearly 20-percent level on Jan. 20.
The same day, the U.S. Treasury Department said the country eased some sanctions on Iran, pausing efforts to reduce Iranian crude oil exports, as part of a nuclear deal. The EU fulfilled its part of the deal as well - by suspending some economic sanctions on Iran.
Iran was given a 6-month sanctions relief in return for curbing some of its nuclear activities. The P5+1 urged the IAEA, which monitors Iran's nuclear activity, to keep its nuclear inspectors in Iran for six months permanently, but IAEA said that there is not need for that.
Professor of chemical engineering in Southern California University, Muhammad Sahimi believes that it is a good idea for the IAEA to have an office in Tehran and to house its inspectors in Iran.
"It is good for Iran to accept this notion, because it would demonstrate that it has nothing to hide or fear, and that the inspectors in Iran can go anywhere on short notice," he told Trend.
"So far, Iran has stopped enriching uranium at 19.75 percent, confirmed by the IAEA, and that is, of course, a good start."
Iran on many occasions has said that it wants to cooperate with IAEA on all nuclear-related issues, and prove that its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes.
At the same time, professor of economics at U.S. Northeastern University, Kamran Dadkhah told Trend that if the inspectors were to be asked to stay in Iran, it might have caused distrust from the Islamic Republic.
"If P5+1 or a member requests that inspectors stay in Iran, it signals a distrust of Iran, which does not bode well for a working relation and for building confidence," Dadkhah said. "Definitely, Iran will object to such a request."
Since Jan. 20, the IAEA inspectors already visited Iran's Arak heavy-water production plant, Fordow nuclear site, Isfahan nuclear site and Natanz nuclear power plant. According to the reports, thus far, Iran has been realizing its part of the nuclear agreement.
"It would be clever of Iran, if Iranians ask the inspectors to stay," Kamran Dadkhah contnued. "That means they are telling the world there is nothing to hide."
"Moreover, once inspectors are in Iran, they could be treated well and Iranians can develop a cordial relation with them," he underscored.
Speaking with Trend previously, Senior fellow at Nanyang Technological University's S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, James M. Dorsey said that while a permanent IAEA presence over the next six months is not an indispensable and essential action, it would certainly enhance confidence and strengthen Iran's negotiating position.
The U.S. and its Western allies suspect Iran of developing a nuclear weapon - something that Iran denies. The Islamic Republic has on numerous occasions stated that it does not seek to develop nuclear weapons, using nuclear energy for medical researches instead.