Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Monday that Iran will stop implementing the IAEA additional protocol if the other participants of the Iran nuclear deal fail to uphold their commitments under the document by February 21.
Elaborating on the February 21 deadline, the spokesman said that the Iranian Parliament has obliged the government to stop the voluntary implementation of the additional protocol if the other parties fail to meet their obligations by the date.
He further noted that Iran will continue to be a member of NPT and NPT safeguards. However, he said that Iran will no longer allow supervisions beyond the NPT safeguards.
“All these measures will be reversible provided the other parties adhere to their obligations,” the spokesman said.
Commenting on recent remarks by the Intelligence Minister, Khatibzadeh said that Iran’s stance has not changed and aims to secure the right to peaceful nuclear activities.
He said that a Fatwa by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei that prohibited the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction is still in place.
Referring to the foreign policy developments in the past week, Khatibzadeh said that the UN special envoy on Yemen met with the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and two of his deputies, namely Ali Asghar Khaji and Abbas Araghchi, on Monday, February 8.
During these meetings, good discussions on solving the Yemen crisis took place, according to Khatibzadeh who expressed hope that the meeting would impact the crisis positively.
“On Tuesday, the Iranian President received foreign ambassadors in Tehran. The same day, the Belgian ambassador was summoned and Foreign Ministry’s director-general protested against illegal behavior by a Belgian. On the anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution, all Iranian diplomatic missions [in other countries] celebrated the occasion,” Khatibzadeh added.
The diplomat described the Judiciary Chief’s last week trip to Iraq as ‘successful’, and said, “The cases of the Late General Soleimani, judicial and political ties and consular relations were addressed and this can help improve ties between the two countries. In recent days, Iran’s representative took a trip to Syria and met with President Bashar Assad.”
Khatibzadeh went on to stress that IAEA has absolute legal responsibility towards confidentiality.
Foreign Ministry spokesman underlined that despite Iran’s utmost cooperation with the IAEA, there have been information breaches, adding, “The IAEA has absolute legal responsibility towards confidentiality of documents. There are inherently confidential documents, but Iran’s activities are transparent. It’s a matter of sorrow that there has been serious negligence. The letter [sent by Iran] was aimed at reminding the IAEA of its responsibilities.”
Referring to the US Secretary of State's tweet on JCPOA and diplomacy yesterday, Khatibzadeh went on to say, “Unfortunately the US is still acting based on the wrong procedure left for the previous administration. What is seen today is not different from those prior to January 20; the same maximum pressure and crime against the Iranian nation with the same approach.”
He noted that the current US is in no way different than the Trump US which could be an embarrassment to those who based their election campaign in distancing from Trump. He added that Iran would answer properly if diplomacy is hired to correct the wrong path.
On the recent US stance about Yemen and Griffiths’ trip to Tehran, the senior official explained that the trip was previous scheduled but postponed twice because of the pandemic.
He also added, “On regional issues, Iran confers with regional states; however, the United Nations has its own special position as facilitator.”
The Iranian official further that Iran pursues producing metal uranium in order to attain advanced nuclear fuel, which is in line with the country’s research and development plan to provide the Tehran Research Reactor with fuel.
The spokesman also stressed that the Islamic Republic sees the production of metal uranium as part of its efforts to develop its nuclear know-how, but it stopped pursuing this kind of research and development in line with the implementation of the 2015 nuclear deal.
He also noted that the metal uranium is being produced in many reactors around the world, adding that the production is considered one of the common trends of nuclear programs for peaceful purposes.
Thus, it would be better for Europe and the United States to return to their commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the diplomat said.
The Trump administration withdrew from the JCPOA in May 2018, re-imposing sanctions against Iran and threatening other countries to stop trade ties with the Islamic Republic, while Iran was abiding by its obligations under the accord and expecting the lifting of sanctions.
Pointing to the stance of the new US administration on the JCPOA, Khatibzadeh noted that Washington does not need any message from Iran to comply with its commitments, but the Biden administration is an accomplice with the Trump administration in violating the international agreement; so, the unconstructive path should be halted.
He referred to Qatar’s effort to revive the JCPOA, noting that Iran welcomes such assistance and that Doha is one of the regional friends of Tehran and the two nations hold negotiations on different matters.
As to the seizure of an Iranian oil tanker by the United States, the official noted that they sold the oil shipment, which had been sold to a third country. This is a kind of piracy committed by the US in international waters and that is a shame for the country, he added.
He also pointed to another oil tanker, which was seized by the United States, noting that the oil did not belong to the Iranian government, because it belongs to the private sector; so, the Biden administration, that claimed it wants to change the wrong path of his country, has committed such a crime; then the world should think of a proper mechanism to prevent such piracy.
Dismissing recent remarks by Dominic Raab, Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, the Iranian official stated that the Islamic Republic will not compromise on its national interests; therefore, the Iranian missile program is for defense purposes.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Khatibzadeh urged all regional countries to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq, condemning unpleasant events that happened in Turkey.
He further said that Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani immediately ordered the opening of borders to help people, who were in danger following Saturday’s accident, when over 500 vehicles burst into flames at the Afghanistan-Iran border after a fuel truck exploded. The official added that the losses would have multiplied if Iran had not cooperated.
According to Khatibzadeh, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif did not feel well on Sunday, but he has not got COVID-19 as he tested negative for the disease twice.