Why Iran Does Not Accept IAEA Inspections?Javid Montazeran
For the first time after the implementation of the JCPOA, the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) Board of Governors passed a resolution on June 19, calling on Iran to fully cooperate with the IAEA in implementing NPT Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol. The reason behind the resolution was Iran’s not allowing IAEA inspectors in its two disputed facilities.
Addressing the IAEA resolution, Kazem Qarib Abadi, Iran's permanent representative to the Agency, pointed out that it will not make Iran allow inspections based on false and baseless claims, and that the Islamic Republic of Iran will react appropriately towards the resolution.
So far Iran has been firm on its decision to prevent the inspection of the sites mentioned in the resolution, drawing a reaction from the IAEA Director General, Rafael Grossi, who called on Iran to cooperate in a recent threatening remark.
Considering the provisions of the resolution and its calling for Iran’s full cooperation and clarification of the country’s declarations about the NPT Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol, and with regards to Iran’s harsh and clear reaction in rejecting the resolution, a lot of national and international experts now have a question: why doesn’t Iran allow the inspectors into the two sites in order to end the conflict while it knows the prevention might lead to a consensus against the country?
To get to a possible answer for the question, we should consider some points about the IAEA inspections:
IAEA’s reports on Iran and its reactions towards the country have become non-technical and political
One; the IAEA’s reports on Iran and its reactions towards the country have become non-technical and political since Yukiya Amano died and Rafael Grossi replaced him as the new head of the Agency. With exaggerations about normal events and issues like Iran preventing suspicious inspectors from visiting its nuclear sites, and with baseless claims by Israel about Iran’s undeclared nuclear activities, some of the issues that could be normally discussed between Iran and the IAEA, are now discussed in the meetings of the IAEA Board of Governors and result in resolutions against Iran. This is while the Agency should not rely on claims from unreliable sources or the information obtained through espionage activities. This all shows that the IAEA has acted against the legal and political norms and has not adhered to its normal legal and political process.
Iran is the only country that has allowed a lot of inspections by the IAEA.
Two; Iran has fully cooperated with the IAEA since the implementation of the JCPOA in 2016. In fact Iran is the only country that has allowed a lot of inspections by the IAEA. The call for the inspection of the two sites is thus totally non-technical and non-urgent, as the issue was raised ten years ago and its case was closed during the nuclear talks that ended in the JCPOA.
There have been reports about nuclear sabotages carried out by the IAEA inspectors in Iran and some other countries.
Three; Iran has reasons to belive the IAEA has sent some inspectors to spy on its nuclear facilities. Iran believes that some of the inspectors have helped the west in their efforts to make trouble for Iran’s nuclear case through their biased reports. Besides, there have been reports about nuclear sabotages carried out by the IAEA inspectors in Iran and some other countries. American officials have asserted that the Agency’s inspectors have been acting as intelligence agents; James Carney, a former White House press secretary said almost 8 years ago that the IAEA inspectors are like the US “eyes”.
Four is about Iran’s experience with the IAEA. Previous cases and demands by the Agency make Iranian officials conclude that even if they allow the inspection of the two nuclear facilities, it will not put an end to the IAEA claims and demands. In fact, Iranian authorities believe that if they give in to the Agency’s call for inspection, which is based on Israel’s false claims, such calls and demands would never end and there will probably be more false claims by the Zionists, leading to further irrational demands.
Five; ran is among the signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and in 2003 the country implemented the Additional Protocol to the NPT too, making it clear that it is seeking a peaceful nuclear program. But, the NPT has not been ratified by the Iranian Parliament so the country has no obligation under international law to implement it. Yet, Iran is voluntarily implementing the Additional Protocol after under the JCPOA, consenting to the system of inspections. Therefore, in accordance with Iran's obligations and international regulations, the IAEA does not have the right to call for the inspection of facilities other than active nuclear sites in the country.
Javid Montazeran is a researcher who is focused on foreign and defense policies.
This op-ed was originally published in Persian at IrDiplomacy.ir.