Iran Reaffirms Commitment to Non-Proliferation Amid IAEA Cooperation

Iran's Foreign Ministry reaffirms commitment to non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, citing cooperation with IAEA. IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi's visit to Tehran aims to strengthen oversight and resolve outstanding issues.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Iran Reaffirms Commitment to Non-Proliferation Amid IAEA Cooperation

Iran Reaffirms Commitment to Non-Proliferation Amid IAEA Cooperation

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Nasser Kanani, has reaffirmed the country's commitment to the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, citing ongoing cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and progress in resolving outstanding issues. This statement comes in the wake of IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi's visit to Tehran on May 6, 2024, which aimed to strengthen oversight and cooperation between Iran and the IAEA.

Why this matters: The success of Iran's cooperation with the IAEA has significant implications for regional and global security, as it could prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and reduce tensions in the Middle East. Moreover, the outcome of these negotiations may influence the trajectory of international relations, particularly between Iran and the US, and impact the effectiveness of non-proliferation efforts worldwide.

During Grossi's visit, he and Iranian officials agreed to base bilateral interaction and cooperation on the joint March agreement. Negotiations between the deputies of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization and the IAEA have begun to prepare a draft agreement, which is expected to be concluded before the IAEA Director General's periodic report to the Board of Governors on June 7, 2024.

The draft agreement will focus on three key areas: resolving past issues, including the Possible Military Dimensions (PMD) file and two remaining sites; taking reciprocal measures within the framework of compliance and the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT); and facilitating and mediating the removal of obstacles and resolution of issues, mainly political, in a constructive and successful manner.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian emphasized the importance of the IAEA taking unbiased and professional positions, urging the US to stop inconsistent and erratic actions that could hurt Tehran-IAEA cooperation. He also characterized the threats made by Zionist authorities to use nuclear bombs as an obvious danger to regional and global peace and security, underscoring the need for the IAEA to react to such alarming claims made by the officials of a regime armed with nuclear weapons.

In response, Grossi praised Iran's stance of recognizing and expanding reassuring collaboration with the IAEA, emphasizing Iran's critical role in restoring peace and security to the region. He stressed that "anyone attempting to inflate conflict, tension, and confrontation in the region will fail if Iran and the IAEA work together more closely."

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), achieved in Vienna on July 14, 2015, involved Iran and major world powers, including the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. Under the agreement, Iran consented to reduce its nuclear capabilities in exchange for relief from economic sanctions. However, the US withdrawal from the agreement in 2018 under President Donald Trump and the subsequent imposition of sanctions strained relations and crippled Iran's economy.

Despite international scrutiny and ongoing diplomatic efforts, Iran has continued to enrich uranium up to 60-percent purity, a level that many outside observers argue has potential military applications. Grossi criticized Tehran for its "completely unsatisfactory" cooperation, stating that Iran was "dangerously close to making nuclear weapons" weeks prior to his visit.

As Iran and the IAEA continue to work towards resolving outstanding issues and strengthening cooperation, the upcoming draft agreement and periodic report to the Board of Governors on June 7 will be crucial in determining the future course of Iran's nuclear program and its relationship with the international community. The success of these efforts will depend on the commitment and willingness of both parties to engage in constructive dialogue and find mutually acceptable solutions.

Key Takeaways

  • Iran reaffirms commitment to non-proliferation of WMDs, citing cooperation with IAEA.
  • IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi's visit to Tehran aims to strengthen oversight and cooperation.
  • Draft agreement to be concluded before June 7, focusing on resolving past issues and compliance.
  • Iranian Foreign Minister urges IAEA to take unbiased positions, criticizes US and Zionist authorities.
  • Success of efforts depends on constructive dialogue and mutually acceptable solutions.