BAKU, Azerbaijan, September 25. The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Mariano Grossi, has expressed his concern over the lack of progress in resolving the outstanding issues related to Iran’s nuclear program, Trend reports.
In a statement issued on 25 September 2023, Grossi reiterated that Iran must fully cooperate with the IAEA and provide credible assurances that its nuclear activities are exclusively peaceful.
Grossi’s statement came after he reported to the IAEA Board of Governors on both Iran’s NPT Safeguards Agreement and verification and monitoring undertaken in light of United Nations Security Council resolution 2231. The resolution endorsed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), an agreement reached in 2015 between Iran and the P5+1 countries (China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK, and the US) plus the European Union, to limit Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
However, the JCPOA has been in jeopardy since the US withdrew from it in 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Iran. In response, Iran has gradually resumed its nuclear activities and suspended the implementation of some of its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA. Iran has also restricted the access of IAEA inspectors to some of its nuclear facilities and equipment, raising questions about its compliance with the NPT Safeguards Agreement.
Grossi said that significant safeguards issues remain outstanding after a number of years, and that the activities set out in the most recent Joint Statement between himself and Iran in March 2023 have not made the progress he was hoping for. The Joint Statement aimed to facilitate the clarification of the possible presence of nuclear material at three undeclared locations in Iran, and to resume the servicing of the IAEA’s monitoring and surveillance equipment in Iran.
Grossi said that he remains actively engaged and ready to work with Iran to resolve the nuclear issues, and urged Iran to cooperate with the IAEA without further delay. He also called on the parties to the JCPOA to continue their diplomatic efforts to revive the agreement and ensure its full and effective implementation.