UN Watchdog: Iran in Compliance with the Nuclear Deal, There Will Be No Additional Inspections

Yukiya Amano, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA speaks during a news conference following the board of governors meeting at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria, 17 November 2016. Photo by Lisi Niesner / Epa/REX/Shutterstock

Iran remains in compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report showed, despite tensions between Tehran and Washington threatening the agreement. Furthermore, IAEA officials declined the United States’ public, yet unofficial request to seek access to Iranian military sites for additional inspections, saying Washington had not provided basis for such demands.

The quarterly assessment by the IAEA says that Iran has not exceeded the limit of low-enriched uranium which stands at 300 kilograms, or enriched it above low purity levels. Also, Tehran has not pursed the construction of the Arak reactor, capable of producing weapons-grade plutonium. Iran’s stock of heavy water, a reactor coolant, remained below the ceiling of 130 tons throughout the previous quarter, with Iran exporting 19.1 tons.

Last week, the US envoy to the United Nations Nikki Haley visited the IAEA headquarters, expressing doubts that Iran could be conducting banned activities and suggesting there should be additional checks in “undeclared” military sites which are not part of the deal. Iran dismissed these demands as “merely a dream”. Under 2015 nuclear deal, Washington has the right to seek additional inspections in Iran from IAEA, but it has to provide factual basis for such requests.

“We’re not going to visit a military site like Parchin just to send a political signal,” an IAEA official said, referring to the fact that US officials haven’t filed an official request despite making public comments about it.

A US State Department spokesman confirmed Reuters reports that Haley neither asked the IAEA to visit specific sites nor offered new intelligence on any site. “She conveyed that the IAEA will need to continue to robustly exercise its authorities to verify Iran’s declaration and monitor the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” he told the news agency.

In light of ongoing diplomatic strife between Washington and Tehran, IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano reiterated that agency’s work was based on facts alone, pledging he would not give Trump administration “an excuse” to back out of the deal.

Although Iran’s compliance with the deal has been confirmed so far through regular State Departments’ reports to Congress, US president Donald Trump, who is a staunch opponent of the deal, said he expected Tehran to be declared noncompliant by October.

Most of the UN sanctions against Iran were lifted after the signing of the nuclear deal, which saw Iran give up its developing nuclear program for at least a decade in exchange for economic and diplomatic incentives from the European Union and the U.S.

Iranian ballistic missile program is framed within 2015 UN Security Council resolution, which allows Tehran to test missiles, but bans any activity concerning missiles designed to be capable of carrying nuclear warheads. This document exists separately from the JCPOA, therefore is not legally binding and does not offer any mechanisms for enforcing its implementation – causing a prolonged strife between Tehran and Washington regarding the “spirit of the nuclear deal” and Iranian ballistic missiles activity.

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