IAEA accusations 'politically motivated' to pressure Iran

TEHRAN, Feb. 24 (MNA) – The never-ending reports by the UN nuclear agency making false, baseless accusations against Iran’s nuclear program are “politically motivated” to put maximum pressure on Iran, the Iranian nuclear spokesman said.

Behrouz Kamalvandi made the remarks in an interview with Press TV, where he said that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) publicizes confidential reports about Iran’s nuclear activities even before the investigations are complete in order to prepare the ground for fabrications against the country’s peaceful atomic energy program.

After the recent inspection of the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant (FFEP) in January, the UN agency claimed Iran has made an “undeclared change” to the interconnection between the two clusters of advanced machines enriching uranium to up to 60 percent purity at the plant.

Soon afterward, a joint statement by the United States, Britain, France and Germany accused Iran of being “inconsistent in meeting its nuclear obligations.”

Dismissing the sweeping claims, Kamalvandi said Iran has only changed modes of enrichment, not “unannounced changes to the design information questionnaire” (DIQ) as stated by the IAEA.

“The inspector came and pointed out that the mode has changed, he was right, the mode had changed, but DIQ had not changed,” he said in the interview.

Kamalvandi added that after the agency was informed of the inspector’s “mistake,” he came back for another inspection and confirmed that Iran had not made any changes to the DIQ, the mode that has been changed was mentioned in the DIQ submitted to the agency.

“I think the reaction of the agency was deliberate… it seems to me that the agency did not immediately accept our argument based on some political benefits,” he asserted.

“[The agency] submitted a report against us, and unfortunately, immediately after that, the three European countries and the United States made a statement against Iran.”

Kamalvandi slammed the statement by the US and its European allies as a “premeditated” move.

When a statement is issued against Iran at this speed, it shows that the action taken was a premeditated one. Of course, they are a bit impulsive in this show, … they didn’t even bother to wait at least two or three days so that their show looks a little bit more real.

“The reports are indeed technical, but their purpose is political, … these issues should be discussed between us and the agency, other parties should not be present. The agency should not report [them] until the investigation is complete,” he said.

A false report

Commenting on the recent Bloomberg report that claimed the IAEA “is trying to clarify how Iran accumulated uranium enriched to 84 percent purity,” Iran’s nuclear agency spokesman said finding highly-enriched uranium particles in the pipes connecting centrifuges was a “normal issue.”

“For example, we are producing 5 percent enriched [uranium], 11 percent particle is seen in it, or we are producing 20 percent [enriched uranium], 47 percent particle is seen in it. We had several correspondences about this in the past… it’s a natural thing in enrichment,” he explained.

“The machine is spinning fast. If the amount of the feed decreases for a moment, the enrichment will increase by a few percent; but it doesn’t matter because the end product is what matters.”

Kamalvandi stated that If Iran “wants” to produce highly-enriched uranium, it will announce it to the UN agency, but so far it has not felt the need to produce more enriched uranium.

“So, it is clear that there is a conspiracy here,” he noted, referring to the confidential reports being leaked to Western media and distortions made about the IAEA inspections and subsequent findings. 

He criticized the IAEA for allowing the correspondence between Tehran and the agency to leak to the press, holding the agency “100 percent guilty” in the case.

“There was a confidential letter between us and the agency, a question was raised, and we answered. Their question is broadcast in the media, but our answer is not…the goal is to create space for those who want to accuse Iran…of violating its commitment and not respecting safeguards.”

Kamalvandi said Iran has still consistently “complied” with the safeguards, adding that “15 reports of the agency itself are proof of our honesty and that Iran has fully fulfilled its obligations.”

“There is no logical reason for the action of the agency unless there is a political purpose behind this case which aims at distorting the image of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he remarked.

Reduced nuclear compliance

Kamalvandi justified Iran’s remedial measures to reduce its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal, known officially as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), after the former US administration unilaterally pulled out of the deal and European parties failed to fulfill their commitments to confront the US and salvage the deal.

“We had obligations beyond the safeguards. We had additional protocol commitments, we had JCPOA commitments. We switched off surveillance cameras and ceased our additional protocol obligations because they did not comply with their own obligations, the sanctions were still in place, the decision of the government authorities and the strategic action plan of the parliament determined that our relationship with the IAEA must be limited to the safeguards,” he said.

The nuclear agency spokesman hastened to add that safeguards commitments have a very clear meaning – “what the agency should monitor is the amount and method of using atomic materials.”

“The safeguards has nothing to do with centrifuges, it has nothing to do with research, it should not have anything to do with…the sites where you don't have original atomic materials,” he noted.

Kamalvandi said that based on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and safeguard regulations Iran reserves the “right to produce whatever percentage it wants.”

An all-out propaganda war

Echoing what top Iranian officials have repeatedly said, Kamalvandi asserted that no country is bombarded by negative propaganda as much as Iran is, pointing to the number of foreign-based Persian-language media outlets leading the media campaign against Iran.

“The volume and extent of propagandist pressure against the country and the government are clearly aimed for political purposes,” he said.

“When they say maximum pressure, they mean pressure by any means. Sometimes they use economy, sometimes politics or issues regarding IAEA, sometimes it is human rights, some other times it is terrorism and many other excuses which are raised every now and then. Whenever it is necessary and they can't use their old pretexts, they fabricate an issue against Iran.”

Kamalvandi said the fact that international bodies like the UN Security Council and the IAEA Board of Governors are structured in such a way that benefits the West, there is nowhere that Iran can file a complaint about false accusations made against the country.

“They raise these accusations to inflame the political atmosphere, to take their own advantage, and when the accusation is cleared a year or two later, they move on to the next false accusation.

“We gave all the answers to the agency, there is no issue that we did not answer. Still, they make a scene anyway. I don't believe this will be over soon, they will go find other issues, make noise under the pretext of that, and then quietly say that the problem has been resolved for a while. It’s been like this so far,” the official remarked.

Western parties’ unfulfilled commitments

Elsewhere in his remarks, Kamalvandi censured Western parties to Iran’s nuclear deal for not fulfilling any of their commitments.

“They do not do what they write and sign in any way… we have a fatwa [decree] that it is forbidden to build an atomic bomb, and therefore we will not build it. It has no value to [the Western powers] because they are like that and their words cannot be trusted. And therefore, they say that the best thing is that Iran does not have a nuclear industry at all,” he noted.

In October 2003, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei issued a fatwa that forbade the production and use of any form of weapon of mass destruction.

Top Iranian officials, including President Ebrahim Raeisi, have often cited the Leader’s decree to stress that Iran is not looking to build a nuclear weapon, but seeks peaceful nuclear technology.

“If we are going to commit, it should be mutual. It is not possible that we do it first, because there is no guarantee that they will fulfill their (part of) commitments,” Kamalvandi said.

‘Nuclear industry a must for Iran’

Iran’s nuclear agency spokesman further reiterated that having a nuclear industry is a must for a country like Iran with a relatively large population of 80 million and its medicinal needs.

He said Iran must be self-sufficient in producing radiopharmaceuticals as almost one million patients in the country need such medicinal radio compounds.

Rejecting Washington’s claims that medicines are exempt from sanctions, Kamalvandi said the US has sanctioned Iran’s pharmaceutical companies under the pretext that they are affiliated with the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.

“In other countries, there are centers that produce radiopharmaceuticals and none of them has a separate reactor at home. They usually use the reactor of the Atomic Energy Organization of their own countries. Well, in fact, [the US] makes excuses for not providing service to Iran,” he asserted.

“If we couldn't produce [radiopharmaceuticals], we would have big problems now.”

The official noted that Iran must be capable of producing electricity that is non-polluting like atomic electricity, as the hydroelectricity supply of the country can decrease due to rainfall shortages.

He added that nuclear facilities can benefit other major industries including oil drilling and cement companies.

“We are progressing well in all these branches that I mentioned, and it promises that God willing, we will have a vibrant atomic energy industry in the future, whose products will be used by people in different areas,” he hastened to add.


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