Chief of Iran's nuclear program Mohammad Eslami. FILE

Chief of Iran's nuclear program Mohammad Eslami

Iran Nuclear Chief Says Will Curb Program If Sanctions Lifted


The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) says the country’s nuclear industry is controlled from Tehran, not Vienna.

Mohammad Eslami speaking to a group of reporters in Tehran on Thursday stressed that Iran’s emphasis in the Vienna talks was on seeing sanctions removed. He added that Iran would meet its obligations under the 2015 agreement, the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), as sanctions were lifted in a verifiable manner and the necessary guarantees given by world powers. Eslami

Eslami said last week Iran was ready to clear up by June 20 outstanding questions raised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over Tehran’s nuclear work before 2003. While this is a requirement under Iran’s safeguards arrangements under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty and not linked to JCPOA restoration, there has been speculation that the issue was muddying the Vienna talks.

In his report to the IAEA board meeting Monday, IAEA chief Rafael Mariano Grossi highlighted that “making progress on the clarification of the outstanding safeguards issues” with Iran remained an agency priority.

In Vienna Wednesday, the US Deputy Chief of Mission to the IAEA Louis Bono expressed “significant concerns” over Iran’s responsibility for transparency under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation ‘safeguards’ rules, noting that Iran needed to answer agency questions over its nuclear work before 2003 as “a legal obligation separate from its JCPOA commitments.”

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