Excellencies, Dear Colleagues,
We are now at a critical juncture in relations with the JCPOA. During the past five years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has proven to be a responsible player by preserving the JCPOA despite all difficulties due to the US withdrawal from the deal. In such circumstances the EU/E3, apart from issuing numerous political statements in support of the deal, failed to comply with their commitments under the JCPOA and remained inactive.
In this context, to bring back the lost balance to the deal, Iran has taken a series of remedial measures, but has always stressed on the reversibility of all its measures when all participants return to full implementation of their commitments therein.
Given the circumstances, on 2nd December 2020, after about two and a half years of US withdrawal from the JCPOA and lack of practical actions by the E3/EU in meeting their commitments, Parliament of the Islamic Republic of Iran passed a law entitled “Strategic Action to Lift Sanctions and Protect Iranian Nation’s Interests”. Article 6 of this law requires the Government, in case of the continuation of non-compliance of the participants of the deal with their commitments regarding the total normalization of the banking relations and removal of all barriers on the export of oil and oil derivatives and return of revenues in two months after the entry into force of the law, to stop the implementation of all verification and monitoring activities beyond Iran’s Safeguards Agreement concluded with the IAEA (CSA), including the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol (AP).
Amidst the situation where the Government was required to execute the law, the Director General of the Agency’s request to visit Tehran was welcomed in good-will and in the spirit of cooperation and enhanced mutual trust. As a result of intensive and fruitful discussions between the two sides, a temporary bilateral technical understanding, compatible with the Act passed by Iran’s Parliament, was reached for a period of up to three months on 23 February 2021. Therefore, Iran continues to implement its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA as before, and the Agency will continue with its necessary monitoring and verifications activities for up to 3 months as per technical annex.
Accordingly, for up to 3 months, Iran will maintain the records of the stored data by monitoring equipment and information about some activities as specified in the Annex. Review by the Agency of this data will take place once and if Iran decides, after ceasing all sanctions, to resume its implementation of the relevant nuclear-related commitments, otherwise all collected data will be erased at the end of the third month.
Two months opportunity envisioned in the Parliament’s law was augmented by this good-will based mutual understanding for up to three more months. Iran, once again, has opened a new window of opportunity, and now the burden of proof is on others to seize it by practically implementing their commitments.
While the previous US Administration failed in pursuing maximum pressure policy, the new US Administration has yet to take practical measures to alter the path. As our Supreme Leader declared, we will look at the other participants’ deeds not words, and after corroboration of their actions we will also act accordingly and proportionally. If the sanctions are all removed at once, we are ready to come back to full implementation at once. It was not Iran who left the negotiating table of the Joint Commission and it is upon those who want to rejoin around the table to take proper practical steps to earn it.
In view of the ongoing and constructive cooperation between Iran and the Agency, any politically motivated move and abusing the Agency for political bargaining chip and misleading it is absolutely destructive. It is also immensely counterproductive in relations with the already existing good-will and mutual trust between the Agency and the Islamic Republic of Iran. In this context, we welcome the prudence and vigilance shown by all Members of the Agency, especially the Members of the Board of Governors and the Director General in their efforts to prevent the unnecessary tension and maintaining the already existing opportunity for diplomacy.
Since the technical discussion between Iran and the Agency was raised this afternoon, I would like to welcome a meeting between technical experts in April and at the same time remind that technical engagement between the Agency and Iran has always been active and the two sides are interacting with each other on the remaining safeguards issues for quite a period of time. In this regards, there were several technical meetings held during the past two years and the April technical meeting is also the continuation of such meetings with a view to final resolution of the remaining safeguards issues, and we will continue our utmost common efforts to that end.
Since the E3 countries referred in their Statement to the Board of Governors Resolution GOV/2009/82 (2009) and the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1803 (2008), I would like to remind that paragraph 11 of the Board of Governors Resolution GOV/2015/72 (2009) and paragraph 7(a) of the UNSC Resolution 2231(2015) clearly terminated the provisions of those aforementioned Resolutions.
I would also like to seize the opportunity to raise some additional and important issues here.
While, the Islamic Republic of Iran is strongly committed to pursue a peaceful nuclear program, another Iranian nuclear scientist was assassinated. There are clear evidences showing that Israeli regime is behind the heinous assassination of Dr. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, and should be held accountable for such an inhumane crime. Considering the dire implications of such horrific act and dangerous provocations on international peace and security and that terrorism as a serious challenge to the international community requires collective responses, we call upon Member States and the Agency to uphold their obligations under international law in fighting terrorism and condemn such inhumane act in the strongest terms. It also should be reminded that the Islamic Republic of Iran will not leave such criminal acts unanswered.
Allow me to register once again the Islamic Republic of Iran’s principled position about the significance of protecting the confidential information, which is made available to the Agency by means of monitoring and verification activities. It is noteworthy that due to wide-range of nuclear activities of Iran in various fields and the broad inspection activities done by the Agency in Iran, as well as various detailed reports prepared by the Agency on the results of verification activities, disclosure of such safeguards-related confidential information inflicts commercial, technological and industrial damages and brings security threats to the country. In a letter to the Director General of the Agency dated on 4 February 2021, I have expressed our concerns in this regard in four areas and proposed 13 practical solutions to address them. Protection of confidential information is responsibility of both the Agency and the Member States which have access to such information. We hope that the Agency duly and urgently considers these concerns and enters into a proper engagement with the Islamic Republic of Iran in this regard.
On another note, Israeli regime has recently not only intensified its provocative and warmongering statements against the Islamic Republic of Iran, but also been actively planning to act upon its belligerent threats. During the past 35 days, three Israeli regime’s officials threatened to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. Iran’s positions over such threats have been well recorded in the history of the Agency and the United Nations. These threats are in gross violation of Article 2 (4) of the Charter of the United Nations which necessitates an appropriate response from the international community.
Furthermore, the practice of international organizations has shown that attack or threat of attack is a clear violation of International Law. In its resolutions, the UNGA clearly stated that such military attack “constitutes a violation of the Charter of the United Nations”. On the other hand, the IAEA in several decisions and resolutions approved by the General Conference stated that any armed attack on and threat against nuclear facilities devoted to peaceful purposes, constitutes a violation of the principles of the United Nations Charter, international law and the Statute of the Agency. The General Conference also emphasized that all armed attacks against nuclear installations devoted to peaceful purposes should be explicitly prohibited.
Likewise, the General Conference in its resolution 533 of 21 September 1990 recognized that “An armed attack on a safeguarded nuclear facility, in operation or under construction, would create a situation in which the United Nations Security Council would have to act immediately in accordance with the provisions of the United Nations Charter”.
In view of the past and present Israeli terrorist behavior, these statements and threats constitute matters of extreme gravity that require urgent and resolute response on the part of the Agency. At the very least, the Agency should react to these threats, by unequivocally condemning them and demanding that the said regime abandon its policy of flouting international law and the UN Charter.
The Islamic Republic of Iran looks forward to effective preventive measures being taken by the Agency and its peace-seeking Member States against such ruthless remarks. The responsibility for any failure in this respect will lie solely with the Agency and others who indirectly render their support by closing their eyes on these remarks.
At the same time, the Islamic Republic of Iran strongly warns against any adventurism by Israeli regime and reserves its inherent right to self-defense to decisively respond to any threat or wrongful act perpetrated by this regime.
I thank you Madam Chairperson.