A handout picture released by Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization on November 4, 2019, shows the atomic enrichment facilities Natanz nuclear research center, some 300 kilometres south of capital Tehran.The United States on one side and Iran and other remaining signatories to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear treaty on the other spent more than a year and a half negotiating the restoration of the landmark deal. Last month, a senior US official said Washington wasn’t going to “waste time” on negotiations anymore.Atomic Energy Organization of Iran chief Mohammad Eslami slapped down an International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors resolution censuring Tehran over the Islamic Republic’s alleged failure to cooperate.
“It appears that the E3 [JCPOA parties UK, France and Germany] and the United States are used to using various methods of pressure, including the issuance of resolutions and the imposition of sanctions, and it is clear that such steps will not be effective,” Eslami said Sunday.
Stressing that the censure “will not help the other parties solve the existing issues,” Eslami vowed a “firm response” to the IAEA’s hostile behavior.Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian echoed the nuclear chief’s sentiments, promising to “take reciprocal and effective measures, while abiding by international law and our commitments.”Eslami said Iran would continue to pursue its peaceful nuclear activities in accordance with the “Strategic Plan” passed by Iran’s parliament in late 2020, which gave the go-ahead for accelerating the nation’s uranium enrichment activities following Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA, and the E3’s failure to find a workaround to crushing US sanctions.The IAEA Board of Governors issued a resolution Thursday charging Iran with failing to cooperate with the nuclear watchdog regarding traces of uranium said to have been found at three so-called “undeclared nuclear sites.” Tehran has dismissed these concerns as an attempt by the West to create a storm in a teacup, and assured that it had already provided “reasonable” answers to the IAEA’s inquiries. In September, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said Tehran had been “fully cooperative” and provided the international watchdog with “information and answers to the nuclear agency’s questions and has also held meetings to resolve the ambiguity.” Tehran has also stressed that all of its nuclear materials have been accounted for, making the issue a moot point.The US, the UK, France, and Germany put forward Thursday’s resolution. Russia and China voted against it.WorldIRGC Chief Says Israel, Saudi Arabia Ganged Up With West Against Iran17 November, 13:27 GMT
JCPOA Dead End
Negotiations on the restoration of the JCPOA began in early 2021, as the Biden administration sought to reverse course on its predecessor’s 2018 decision to quit the landmark 2015 treaty – which promised Iran sanctions relief in exchange for restrictions on its peaceful nuclear energy program. Talks have dragged on for more than a year, and observers have expressed fears that hope for an agreement may be dead amid a negotiations deadlock. Iran has asked Washington to lift sanctions against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, an elite fighting formation tasked with defending Iran’s Islamic Republican form of government, as one of the conditions for restoring the JCPOA. President Joe Biden has refused to do so, saying this summer that he would be ready to “kill” the nuclear deal to keep the IRGC on Washington’s “terrorism” listing.In late October, US envoy for Iran Rob Malley announced that Washington wasn’t “going to waste time” on JCPOA talks anymore in the face of the violent unrest which has rocked Iran in recent weeks. Tehran has accused Washington of trying to implement regime change using protests.WorldWestern Intelligence Services Played Key Role in Staging Mass Riots in Iran: Moscow9 November, 13:14 GMTIran-US tensions have also been ratcheted up by Washington’s decision to join Israeli-led drills simulating attacks on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Tel Aviv, Tehran’s regional arch-enemy, has repeatedly warned that it would not be bound by any renewed Iran nuclear agreement, and spent years lobbying Washington to scrap the deal. The country set aside a special $1.5 billion budget within its defense spending in 2021 to train for strikes on Iran.Tehran has stressed repeatedly that it has no intention to pursue nuclear weapons, and has submitted its nuclear facilities to a stringent IAEA inspections regime. The Islamic Republic has also complained about the West’s “very shameful double standard” for focusing on its non-existent nuclear ambitions, while Israel, the only nation in the Middle East suspected to already possess nukes, has not been subjected to any restrictions or sanctions from Washington or the Europeans.Iran Accuses US, Europe of ‘Very Shameful Double Standard’ Regarding Israel’s Suspected Nukes13 September 2021, 17:40 GMT