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Iran rejects new deal proposal on nuclear program

Iranian envoy’s remarks come in response to UN nuclear watchdog chief Rafael Grossi’s suggestion for new deal

Syed Zafar Mehdi   | 18.12.2020
Iran rejects new deal proposal on nuclear program


Iran on Friday ruled out renegotiations or a new agreement on its nuclear program, rejecting the UN atomic watchdog chief’s suggestion that reviving the deal would require a new document.

Kazem Gharibabadi, Iran’s envoy to Vienna-based organization, said presenting any assessment on how the nuclear deal commitments are implemented is “beyond the mandate” of the UN agency.

“As I said before, IAEA's sole role is to monitor and verify the voluntary nuclear-related measures as detailed in the JCPOA [nuclear deal] and to provide regular factual updates,” Gharibabadi said.

Kazimzadeh said the “commitments” of the parties to the deal and the UN nuclear agency have been “delicately drafted and agreed” and that each side knows the ways of its implementation.

“There would be no renegotiation on the deal and in case of its revival, there is no necessity for a new document on the agency’s role,” the envoy said. “It’s not needed to complicate the situation.”

The Iranian envoy’s remarks came a day after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi said there had been “too many breaches” by Iran in response to the US withdrawal.

“I cannot imagine that they are going simply to say, ‘we are back to square one’ because square one is no longer there,” Grossi said in an interview on Thursday.

He said there is “more nuclear material and more centrifuges” now in Iran, which demands revision of the agreement signed between Iran and the world powers in 2015.

Pertinently, Iran has scaled up its nuclear activities in the last two years in response to the unilateral withdrawal of US President Donald Trump’s administration from the deal in May 2018.

Recently, the Iranian parliament passed legislation that calls for further acceleration of nuclear activities and ending the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol.

Hassan Rouhani-led government in Tehran, however, has expressed its willingness to return to full compliance with the deal if the new US administration led by Joe Biden returns to the deal.

But the top government officials have rejected “re-negotiations” of the accord, calling on the US and Europeans to return to full compliance “without pre-conditions”.

“We will not renegotiate a deal which we negotiated. The deal was about to give and take, not about one side asking and the other side giving,” Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said earlier this month.

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