IAEA rejects Israeli claims it showed weakness

UN nuclear watchdog hits back at Israeli claims that it demonstrates “weakness” in its oversight of the Iran deal.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

IAEA headquarters
IAEA headquarters

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN’s nuclear watchdog, on Sunday hit back at Israeli claims that it demonstrates “weakness” in its oversight of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, i24news reports.

The comments came after the Haaretz newspaper cited several anonymous Israeli officials as saying that the IAEA failed to inspect suspicious sites in Iran even after they were provided with intelligence about them by an unidentified Western “entity”.

“This article does not accurately reflect the safeguards work of the IAEA,” a spokesman for the organization said in a statement emailed to i24news later on Sunday.

“As Director General Yukiya Amano has said, the IAEA has conducted many complementary accesses (CAs) in Iran since Implementation Day of the JCPOA [nuclear deal], and will continue to request access to sites and locations before drawing a broader conclusion for the country,” the spokesman added, without referring specifically to the claim it ignored information provided a Western “entity”.

The spokesman further told i24news that under the agreement with Iran the agency "has broader access to information and locations" which "significantly increases the ability to verify the peaceful use of all nuclear material in a country. In Iran, as of today we have been able to visit, as planned, all sites and locations that we have identified for CAs.”

The Iran nuclear has been criticized by both Israel as well as U.S. President Donald Trump, who has described it as “the worst deal I’ve ever seen negotiated”.

While Trump's administration recently confirmed that Iran is adhering to the nuclear agreement, Trump and other officials in the administration have stressed that the President still has reservations about the deal.

Trump has to certify again in mid-October whether he believes Iran is abiding by the nuclear deal and that sticking to it is vital to U.S. national security interests.

The IAEA just last week insisted that Iran is sticking to the nuclear deal it signed with world powers in 2015.

"The nuclear-related commitments undertaken by Iran under (the 2015 accord) are being implemented," Amano said, adding, "The verification regime in Iran is the most robust regime which is currently existing. We have increased the inspection days in Iran, we have increased inspector numbers... and the number of images has increased.”

Trump's UN envoy, Nikki Haley, has also been critical of the nuclear deal, saying it was wrong to strike a deal ignoring Iran's missile program and support for terrorist groups.

Haley recently asked the IAEA to seek access to Iranian military bases to ensure that they were not concealing activities banned by the 2015 deal.

Iran has dismissed the demand as “merely a dream”.