Rouhani: IAEA has important responsibility in keeping nuclear deal

Iranian president hails agreement in which his country agreed to allow IAEA inspectors access to nuclear sites.

Elad Benari ,

Hassan Rouhani
Hassan Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday stressed the "important responsibility" of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in keeping the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the name of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

"In addition to its technical and specialized duties regarding the Safeguards Agreement and the Additional Protocol, which Iran is implementing voluntarily, the IAEA has an important responsibility, too, with regards to the JCPOA and the preservation of this multilateral agreement," Rouhani said during a meeting with the IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi, the Xinhua news agency reported.

The meeting between Rouhani and Grossi was held in Tehran after an agreement was reached between Iran and the IAEA to allow the agency's inspectors access to two requested locations inside Iran.

The Iranian president hailed the agreement as a "good agreement" and considered "very important" that the IAEA acts in an independent, impartial, and professional way.

"The agency should pay attention to a very important point, that is Iran has sworn enemies that are always seeking to create problems for us," Rouhani said, adding "those enemies are the ones that both possess nuclear weapons and refuse to work with the IAEA."

Iran's president underlined the importance of the JCPOA for Iran and the 5+1 group of signatories, saying the 2015 nuclear deal "brought about tranquility for the whole region and the world."

"The United States withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018 for no good reason," said Rouhani, who claimed that the Americans have now "well realized that what they did was not a good move."

Grossi’s visit to Tehran, which was announced on Saturday, follows a recently released IAEA report in which the agency expressed "serious concern" that Iran has been blocking inspections at two sites where past nuclear activity may have occurred.

The agency has for months been pressing Tehran for information about the kind of activities being carried out at an undeclared site where the uranium particles were found.

While the IAEA has not identified the site in question, it is believed to be the Turquzabad facility which was identified by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during his address before the UN General Assembly in 2018 as a "secret atomic warehouse."

Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal in response to US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in May of 2018.