Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman on Monday dismissed a critical resolution passed last week by the UN nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, criticizing Iran for its lack of cooperation.
Saeed Khatibzadeh launched his defense of Tehran’s policies at a press conference on Monday by attacking a recent trip by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi to Israel.
Defending the government’s decision to reduce cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog as a reaction to the resolution critical of Iran, he said, “We could not leave the IAEA’s political and non-technical action unanswered. Our response was decisive and appropriate.”
The resolution called on Iran to engage with the IAEA without delay and expressed “profound concern” at Iran’s failure to satisfy the agency over traces of uranium found at three undeclared sites and highlighted earlier in June in a report from by Grossi.
"The abrupt change in the IAEA chief’s tone, his manner of negotiations, and his discourse when he addressed the European Parliament [earlier in May] clearly shows that he was acting on the orders of an outside player," Khatibzadeh said.
Relations between Iran and the Agency continue within the technical framework, he added, saying that if Grossi wants to come to Iran within the framework of agency, he should have an agenda by the agency, but he can come as a tourist.
Saying that Grossi made a trip to the wrong place and at the wrong time and “met with wrong people, he added, “It is unfortunate that the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency has granted the unlawful regime of Israel permission to make a mockery of the international organization through its agents, and erode its credibility.”
Reiterating that the move seriously harmed the credibility of the UN nuclear watchdog, Khatibzadeh said that “These actions have discredited the achievements of international organizations. Under the Statute of the IAEA, its chief is obligated to ensure the independence and impartiality of the organization.”
Iran told the IAEA it plans to remove more monitoring equipment after the 35-member IAEA board Wednesday passed the resolution. Tehran says it intends to maintain a basic level of monitoring and inspectors’ access as required under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
On Sunday, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said Tehran is resisting excessive demands presented “by the other side” in talks to restore the 2015 nuclear deal that have stalled since March. The Iranian parliament and all Friday Prayer Imams in Iran, who are representatives of the Supreme Leader, backed the decision to reduce relations with the IAEA.
Khatibzadeh also touched on the Vienna talks, saying an agreement is within reach if the United States abandons delusions and fulfills its commitments.
“If the agreement is finalized in Vienna tomorrow, all the measures carried out by Iran are technically reversible,” he said.