IAEA to battle bias against Iran nuclear case, says leadership candidate

TEHRAN, Sep. 20 (MNA) – One of four contenders for the top job at the UN’s nuclear watchdog, Argentina’s Rafael Grossi, said he would try to battle any perception of bias when dealing with Iran's nuclear case.

He insisted that the organisation must defend the credibility of the global nuclear rule book, adding that the best course of action was for the International Atomic Energy Agency to act as a neutral arbiter regarding Iran's nuclear case.

He made the remarks while speaking to The National in Vienna at the organisation’s 63rd general conference.

He stressed impartially over Iran's nuclear deal, promising that he would try to battle any perception of bias when dealing with Iran.

“The agency has been dealing with this in a satisfactory manner,” he said. “This is an inspecting and auditing type of exercise that does not lend itself to opinion.

“We are there to ascertain, to check, monitor and verify and tell it as it is, and I am extremely confident in that role...We are an instrument of transparency and we are an intelligent instrument of transparency.”

Mr Grossi said that if he were elected, the UN agency would continue to report the facts as they appeared.

“These series of announcements from Iran are clear and the agency is supposed to report on what they see and what they check on site," he said, referring to Iran's measures to reduce commitments to the JCPOA following the US' unilateral withdrawal from the agreement and a lack of any practical measures from the other remaining sides to safeguard Iran's economic interests in the face of US sanctions.

"If I am elected, I am obliged and I must interact with Iran."

Mr Grossi then stressed that nuclear power, when used peacefully, could be a force for good in the Middle East.

“You can no longer think of the Middle East as a region that is a source of proliferation concern,” Mr Grossi said. “It is a reality that nuclear power can play a positive role in the region. It is a new phase in the Middle East in which nuclear power will be part of the energy mix.”

Mr Grossi also stressed the economic benefits of nuclear technology development.

The Argentinian ambassador to the IAEA faces stiff competition from Mr Feruta for the role. Feruta visited Iran on Sept. 8, where he met with top Iranian officials and discussed the latest developments regarding the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA. 

The Romanian was the right-hand man of former chief ­Yukiya Amano, who died in July as he was preparing to step down from the post.

MNA/PR

News Code 150242

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