The head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog, Yukiya Amano, has given Iran’s cooperation with the JCPOA a ringing endorsement.
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency visited Iran on Sunday as opposition from the United States continues to undermine the landmark international accord over Iran’s nuclear program.
The visit by the head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog, Yukiya Amano, is the first since U.S. President Donald Trump declared he would refuse to certify Iranian compliance with the 2015 accord Iran agreed to with six world powers.
Under the terms of the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA, Tehran agreed to curb certain nuclear activities in exchange for a lifting of sanctions.
Amano gave a ringing endorsement to Iran’s compliance with the deal during his meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
“Ladies and gentleman, I am very happy to come to your country again,” Amano told reporters during a press conference held at Iran’s nuclear agency.
“Since January 2016, the IAEA has been monitoring and verifying the nuclear-related commitments made by Iran under the JCPOA. The IAEA believes that the JCPOA is a significant gain for verification,” he added.
“The IAEA can state that the nuclear-related commitments made by Iran under the JCPOA are being implemented,” Amano noted, adding that IAEA monitoring would continue to be conducted “in an impartial and objective and stringent manner.”
Rouhani’s office issued a statement describing Iran’s adherence to the deal as “complete and remarkable.”
“We should not allow the (JCPOA), as an important achievement, to be undermined, and we must consolidate this important international commitment with full cooperation,” the Iranian president added.
“So far, eight times, the IAEA has released reports that state that Iran has met its commitments fully,” Salehi said.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said Tehran will stick to the agreement as long as the other signatories do, but will “shred” the deal if Washington pulls out, as Trump has threatened to do.
Trump has stopped short of withdrawing the United States from an international accord signed with Iran in 2015, which seeks to ensure that Tehran would place limitations on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of some sanctions.
Trump had repeatedly lambasted the agreement as the “stupidest” and “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.”
Prior to the meeting with Amano, Iran’s president excoriated U.S. policies before his country’s parliament.
“You object to our weapons, we are going to manufacture and store any kind of weapons we need,” Rouhani said. “And this is to defend ourselves and the unity of our land and people. And we will not hesitate to use them in the appropriate time to defend ourselves.
“We will continue to reinforce our defense abilities and to defend our national security,” he added. “And if there is any violation of the United States’s commitments, we will react strongly.”
IAEA chief: Iran is living up to the nuclear deal