Iran is the most transparent country in terms of its nuclear activities. We have been subjected to one-fifth of the IAEA’s total inspections in the world,” Kazem Gharibabadi said in an interview with Iranian news website Khabaronline.
Asked about a recent statement by the European signatories to the nuclear deal of 2015 between Iran and six world powers, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran’s ambassador said following the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the agreement, the European parties to the deal only regretted Washington’s decision, but have continued to express concern about Iran’s reducing its commitments in a tit-for-tat measure, Press TV reported on Monday.
In a Thursday joint statement, the three European signatories to the nuclear agreement reiterated their commitment to the preservation and full implementation of the JCPOA. “We E3 have worked hard to preserve the agreement. We have been consistently clear that we regret the US withdrawal from the JCPOA and reimposition of US sanctions.”
The E3, however, accused Iran of making “numerous, serious violations of its nuclear commitments” for a year and a half now and expressed concern about “Iran’s actions, which are hollowing out the core nonproliferation benefits of the deal.”
The statement read, “It is now critical that Iran immediately reverses its steps and returns to full compliance with the JCPOA without further delay. We remain committed to working with all JCPOA participants to find a diplomatic way forward and we intend to pursue these discussions within the framework of the JCPOA.”
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh on Friday condemned the “irresponsible” stance taken by the three European countries, saying the trio should stop the political blame game and remain committed to their obligations under the deal.
US President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled Washington out of the agreement in May 2018, and unleashed the “toughest ever” sanctions against the Islamic Republic in defiance of global criticism.
Following its much-criticized exit, Washington has been attempting to prevent the remaining signatories – Britain, France, China and Russia plus Germany – from abiding by their commitments and thus kill the historic agreement, which is widely viewed as a fruit of international diplomacy.
Iran remained fully compliant with the JCPOA for an entire year, waiting for the cosignatories to fulfill their end of the bargain by offsetting the impacts of American bans on the Iranian economy.
But as the European parties failed to do so, the Islamic Republic moved in May 2019 to suspend its JCPOA commitments under articles 26 and 36 of the deal that cover Tehran’s legal rights.
Elsewhere in his interview, Gharibabadi said the Europeans only suffice to impractical and verbal stances with regard to Washington’s withdrawal from the JCPOA, but when it comes to Iran, they express serious concern over Tehran’s retaliatory steps.
“The Europeans have in practice taken no specific practical move over the past two and a half years to fulfill their obligations regarding the lifting of sanctions and [the expansion of] peaceful nuclear cooperation with Iran.”
He said the lifting of sanctions on paper has not been the objective of the JCPOA.
“In addition to the lifting of sanctions, another objective pursued by the JCPOA was the outcome of the lifting of sanctions, meaning that Iran must see that outcome in practice.”
Asked about recent reports denoting that Trump has been mulling a possible attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, Gharibabadi said, “Such reports are mostly of a psychological warfare nature. Iran never welcomes a conflict and will never initiate one, but knows well how to defend itself and its interests.”
“The United States knows that in case of any mistaken measure in this regard, Iran’s reaction will be very categorical,” Iran's envoy said. He added, “It is really ridiculous that a country like the United States, which possesses thousands of nuclear warheads, has proliferated nuclear weapons and used them against the innocent people of Japan and is supporting the Zionist regime, which is a member to no nonproliferation treaty ... would express concern about Iran that has been totally complying with its commitments as confirmed in repeated IAEA reports.”
The United States supports Israel, the Iranian official added, which is not a member to any nonproliferation treaty, and at the same time expresses concern about Iran – which has been totally complying with its commitments according to IAEA reports. That is a matter of ridicule, Gharibabadi said.
The New York Times on November 16 quoted four current and former US officials as saying that Trump, with two months left in office, had asked senior advisers in an Oval Office meeting whether he had options to take action against Iran’s main nuclear sites in the coming weeks.