In reaction to the E3 announcement on their decision not to lift Iran sanctions, the Islamic Republic said it will oust 1/3 of the IAEA inspectors.
This Saturday, Iran announced its decision to oust 1/3 of the inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) who are currently present in the country. The move was in fact a reaction to a letter that the three European countries, the UK, France, and Germany wrote to Rafael Grossi, director-general of the IAEA, This Friday over their decision not to lift Iran’s sanctions that were supposed to end on October 18 according to the text of the Iran’s nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
In a statement this Saturday evening, Grossi said that he was informed by Iran of the move earlier Saturday. “Today, the Islamic Republic of Iran informed me of its decision to withdraw the designation of several experienced Agency inspectors assigned to conduct verification activities in Iran under the NPT Safeguards Agreement,” Grossi said. Calling on Iran to reconsider the move, Grossi also noted that the lack of cooperation will damage the IAEA’s ability to “provide credible assurances that nuclear material and activities in Iran are for peaceful purposes”.
“I strongly condemn this disproportionate and unprecedented unilateral measure which affects the normal planning and conduct of agency verification activities in Iran and openly contradicts the cooperation that should exist between the agency and Iran,” Grossi added.
Iran responded to Grossi’s condemnation remarks
Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanaani responded in a statement to Grossi’s remarks the same day and noted that Iran had taken the measure based on the governance rights given to the country in Article 9 of the text of an agreement between the country and the agency for the application of safeguards in connection with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
The Iranian official also said that the Islamic Republic expects Western states to refrain from the policy of misusing international organizations, including the IAEA, and allow these bodies to conduct their professional and impartial activities without political pressures.
“Iran will continue its positive cooperation within its agreements with the IAEA, but the Agency needs to act impartially,” Kanaani also said.
Israel, the first to condemn Iran, not E3 or US, for violating JCPOA
It was not just the IAEA’s Grossi who condemned Iran, and not E3 or US, for violating JCPOA. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also rebuked Tehran for the move, issuing a statement a day before he travels to the United States late Sunday.
“Israel is not surprised by Iran’s moves, which prove it is violating all its commitments to the international community and intends to arm itself with nuclear weapons,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in the statement, adding that “the prime minister reiterates that Israel will do everything needed to defend itself against this threat”.
The story of violating the Iran nuclear deal began on 2018, when the Trump administration, decided to pull out the US out of the deal, which was endorsed by a Security Council resolution. Iran considers the US move as a violation of both the JCPOA and the 2231 Security Council resolution. In reaction to this move, and also the E3’s lack of commitment in fulfilling their promises they had made under the 2015 deal, Iran decided to decrease the level of its commitment to the JCPOA as provisioned in the text of the deal.