Iran not to bear burden of JCPOA all alone, says envoy to UN
“Iran can’t and won’t bear the burden of JCPOA alone. The irresponsibility of one of the UN member states is very unprecedented,” said Eshaq Al-e Habib, Iran’s Deputy Representative to the UN.
He was addressing the 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.
Al-e Habib mentioned that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has verified Iran’s peaceful nuclear programme through the most rigorous inspection regime.
The Iranian official urged the IAEA to maintain its impartiality.
He added that Iran has remained committed to the nuclear agreement.
Al-e Habib noted that no agreement can stay alive if parties to the deal don’t respect their commitments.
"In our time, nuclear energy has an essential role in the development of our societies, thus every effort must be made to ensure the full realization of the inalienable right of any State to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
"This includes the full respect for the inherent right of each State to develop a full national nuclear fuel cycle for peaceful purposes as well as the right to participate in the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials and scientific and technological information for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
"To that end, the developed States Parties to the NPT are under strict legal obligation to cooperate in the further development of the applications of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, especially in the developing countries. This obligation must be upheld.
"A dangerous trend in this regard is the attempt by a certain group of countries to monopolize the nuclear science, know-how and technology as well as the research and development in this field. This is seriously alarming. All developing countries must be vigilant about the negative consequences of this trend and be united and resolute in resisting against it.
"Related restrictions imposed on developing countries are seriously impeding the full and effective realization of their inherent right to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. By any measure, such restrictions are unjustifiable and in gross violation of applicable international law, and therefore their imposition must be stopped.
"Recalling the statutory mandate of the IAEA to assist Member States in research on, and practical application of, nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, it must be ensured that its Technical Cooperation Program remains firm and sustainable through sufficient, assured and predictable financial and human resources.
"Regarding the IAEA’s role as the sole competent authority responsible for the verification of the fulfillment of safeguards obligations, we stress that in conducting such functions, it is essential for the Agency to avoid double standards, politicization, and a selective approach. In short, all related functions of the IAEA must be legally sound, politically wise and methodologically professional, impartial and independent, with the strict observance of confidentiality principle.
"At a time when certain countries are missing no opportunity to systematically abuse such institutions as the Security Council and the IAEA to further their national interests, only strict adherence to the afore-said principles can prevent the erosion of the credibility of an important organization like the IAEA.
"As stated by the IAEA time and again, Iran is subject to the most robust nuclear verification regime and all of its nuclear activities are conducted under the IAEA supervision.
"Iran will continue to act in full conformity with its obligations under the NPT and its safeguards agreement and will remain committed to the JCPOA inasmuch as it's all other participants also fully and timely fulfill all their related commitments.
"The JCPOA has established certain time-bound limitations on Iran’s nuclear program in return for the lifting of sanctions and promoting normal economic and trade relations with Iran. Accordingly, JCPOA participants must support its implementation and refrain from any and all actions undermining it, including any policy that directly and adversely affects the normalization of trade and economic relations with Iran.
"But, in practice, the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA and re-imposition of its sanctions rendered the JCPOA, with respect to Iran’s benefits, almost fully ineffective, thus placing the JCPOA at serious risk, as no agreement can survive when there is an extreme imbalance in the benefits received by the parties.
"This U.S. policy was a material breach of its obligations under the JCPOA and resolution 2231. Additionally, the U.S. continues to systematically violate its obligations under the Charter and international law by brazenly forcing other States either to violate resolution 2231 or face punishment. This irresponsible conduct by a Security Council’s permanent member is unprecedented in the history of the Council.
"Nevertheless, within one year after the U.S. withdrawal, the only reaction of Iran was to give more opportunity to remaining JCPOA participants, upon their request, to compensate for the consequences of the U.S. withdrawal. However, Iran’s goodwill and maximum restraint yielded no concrete result.
"To date, Iran has paid a heavy price as a result of the U.S. all-out economic war and its so-called maximum pressure policy and has done much more than its fair share to preserve the JCPOA. Therefore, Iran alone cannot, shall not and will not take all of the burdens anymore to preserve the JCPOA.
"Consequently, to bring a balance to the JCPOA, Iran decided to limit the implementation of its commitments, in full conformity with the JCPOA’s paragraphs 26 and 36, according to which, in case of “a re-introduction or re-imposition of the sanctions”, Iran will have the right “to cease performing its commitments under this JCPOA in whole or in part”.
"This is a minimum measure that Iran could adopt, a year after the U.S. withdrew from the JCPOA.
"If timely, adequate, serious and practical measures are not taken by other JCPOA participants, Iran will be forced, in exercising its right under the JCPOA’s paragraphs 26 and 36 to further limit the implementation of its commitments every sixty days.
"All measures taken by Iran are reversible, thus providing an opportunity for remaining JCPOA participants either to take serious practical steps to preserve the JCPOA or, along with the U.S., accept the full responsibility for any possible consequences.
"Finally, with respect to the EU statement, I must stress that if the EU is so serious in preserving the JCPOA, it must use the current opportunity by taking adequate practical measures to enable Iran to benefit therefrom.
"Likewise, regarding concerns raised by the EU on a location in Iran, I would like to make it clear that all our nuclear activities are in full conformity with our obligations under Iran’s safeguards agreement. Iran continues to cooperate with the IAEA to answer to questions raised by it, and while the interaction between the Agency and Iran is ongoing, any conclusion by other parties is inconsistent with the Agency’s findings and thus unacceptable.
"Instead of expressing concern over this issue as well as ignoring the unprecedented cooperation of Iran with the Agency on all issues, the EU must break its deadly silence over the threat of the clandestine nuclear program and nuclear weapons of the Israeli regime which remains the only non-party to the NPT in the Middle East. Otherwise, the EU cannot argue that its concerns about other issues in the region are genuine and its related positions enjoy consistency.
"On the incident regarding an IAEA inspector, I should explain that during the routine checking procedure upon the entrance of IAEA inspectors to an Iranian nuclear facility, detectors detected a range of explosive materials containing Nitrates.
"All Iran’s related measures were conducted in accordance with the relevant agreement on immunities and privileges and the established practice as well as in the presence, and with the consent of, the Agency. Iran’s Permanent Mission in Vienna, in a Note Verbal sent to all Missions there, has explained the incident in detail. Interested delegates can approach our delegation to receive a copy of that Note.", Al-e Habib said. ■