Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi speaking during a provincial visit on June 9, 2022

Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi speaking during a provincial visit on June 9, 2022

Iran Politicians, Media Defy UN Nuclear Watchdog Censure

6/9/2022

Top Iranian officials Thursday showed defiance in the face of the IAEA resolution criticizing Tehran for lack of cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog.

One day after the International Atomic Energy Agency passed the resolution, Iran responded by starting to disconnect some 27 cameras and monitoring devices in and around its nuclear sites, as its officials and media continued making defying remarks.

Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi said on the state television that “in the name of God and the great nation of Iran, we will not back off a single step from our positions.” The comment was followed by Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh's statement in which he said: "Iran's response to the IAEA resolution will be firm and proportionate."

On Twitter, former reformist lawmaker Mahmoud Sadeghi criticized Raisi for making the comment about the resolution and suggested that he should take measures that would prevent the handing over of Iran's nuclear case to the UN Security Council. Other reformists who have been pushed to the side-lines in the past two years were mostly silent.

Also on Thursday, the IRGC-linked Tasnim News agency carried a video showing an Iranian technician turning off an IAEA inspection camera. Meanwhile, another IRGC-linked news agency, Fars, said in a commentary that the resolution passed by the IAEA Board of Governors "Was a purely political measure to exert pressure on Iran." The agency added that the IAEA's action was "wrong and non-constructive."

IAEA's Grossi meeting Iran's nuclear chief Mohammad Eslami in Tehran to reach an agreement over monitoring. March 5, 2022

Fars quoted an “expert” as saying that the West has been using the IAEA to portray Iran as rogue. He added IAEA Chief that Rafael Grossi's visit to Israel shortly before the Board of Governor's meeting was aimed at portraying Iran as the non-cooperative party in the nuclear negotiations.

Thursday afternoon, Iran's security Chief Ali Shamkhani said in an interview with Fars News Agency that "The only way to defend Iran's rights against international bullies is to resort to reciprocal action." He added that reciprocity is what should be done in JCPOA talks, with the IAEA and at other forums.

Meanwhile, Fada Hossein Maleki, a member of the Iranian Parliament's national security committee told Fars that further measures are on the way to further restrict Iran's cooperation with the IAEA.

In another development, Didban Iran [Iran Monitor] news website reported on Thursday that media outlets close to Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf as saying that by issuing this resolution, the IAEA and the countries that tabled it have closed the path to the revival of JCPOA. The media outlets close to Ghalibaf also said that the resolution might lead to the end of negotiations and that would be costly for the IAEA.

It is worth noting that the year-long JCPOA talks stopped in March due to Iran’s demands to remove its Revolutionary Guard from the US list of Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).

International relations expert Mehdi Motaharnia told Khabar Online website that the IAEA resolution will lead to further frictions between Iran and the West, namely the United States and its three European allies, the United Kingdom, France and Germany.

Meanwhile in a brief commentary on Twitter, international relations expert Diako Hosseini attributed Iran's isolation at the IAEA Board of Governors to the poor performance of its foreign ministry which he said could have interacted with the IAEA in a better way during the past year.

In the meantime, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrote in a tweet on Thursday: "The overwhelming majority of the IAEA Board of Governors made clear to Iran that it must provide the IAEA credible cooperation and resolve concerns. At the same time, Iran should use this opportunity to return to full implementation of the JCPOA."

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