Iran’s nuclear chief has advised the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) not to be duped by false reports concocted by a Europe-based terrorist group against Iran’s peaceful nuclear program.
“The Agency should not play into the hands of terrorist groups,” head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Mohammad Eslami said in an interview with Sputnik News published on Thursday.
Eslami made the remarks when asked to comment on the IAEA chief’s call on Iran to explain the presence of uranium particles at several undeclared sites.
“This is once again one of the stories of the counterrevolutionary and terrorist group that is living in a safe haven in Europe and is financed by them and constantly influences the Agency by producing fake news,” he said, making a veiled reference to the anti-Iran Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO), an Albania-based terrorist outfit.
He explained that the terrorist group hoodwinks the IAEA by showing fabricated papers, fake satellite images and false evidence as part of its threadbare tactics which have proved invalid.
Earlier this month, Rafael Grossi, the head of the UN atomic watchdog, called on Iran to provide explanations for the presence of uranium particles at several undeclared sites.
“I remain deeply concerned that nuclear material has been present at undeclared locations in Iran and that the current locations of this nuclear material are not known to the agency,” Grossi told the IAEA board of governors in Vienna on September 13.
Iran hit back at the time, voicing concerns over the “aggrandizing of few insignificant old issues” by the IAEA chief.
‘All countries entitled to peaceful nuclear energy’
Eslami said all countries are entitled to use up-to-date technology, especially in the field of nuclear energy.
He said under its Statute, the IAEA is obliged to encourage all countries to develop their nuclear energy projects and to assist them in using peaceful nuclear energy.
“Iran believes that all countries have the right [to use] nuclear energy and nuclear weapons must be banned for all countries,” the top nuclear official stressed.
In a veiled reference to Israel, which has questioned the peaceful nature of Iran’s program and threatened to target its nuclear facilities, Eslami said it is shocking that an entity that owns nuclear weapons and is not a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) raises such claims against Iran.
“The Iranian people do not welcome the language of force,” he said, “We have acted honestly and these hostilities will not affect the Iranian people and they have to realize that they must abandon this wrong approach and stop harming the interests of the Iranian people.”
The remarks came days after Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett claimed that Iran had crossed “all red lines” in its nuclear program and threatened to act alone if the world did not take action.
‘IAEA silence encourages terrorism’
Elsewhere during his interview, Eslami said due to mischievous and hostile acts against Iran by its enemies, the country’s nuclear program has been treated with a “political”, “selective”, and “discriminatory” approach.
He pointed out that the IAEA continues to have access to its surveillance cameras under the Safeguards Agreement, but added that Iran has decided to stop its “voluntary” implementation of the Additional Protocol by halting the Agency’s access to some of its cameras as a response to a gross non-compliance with the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement by the other parties.
“Iran had voluntarily accepted additional surveillance and the Additional [Protocol] in order to build trust and lift the sanctions,” he said, arguing that it would not make sense for Tehran to continue the implementation of the Additional Protocol after the US reimposition of sanctions on Tehran in 2018.
He made the remakes in response to a Sunday IAEA report that while Iran had granted access to its nuclear sites as agreed on September 12, it had prevented IAEA inspectors from visiting a workshop at the TESA Karaj complex, after it was targeted in a sabotage act in June in which one of four IAEA cameras was destroyed.
Iran has censured the IAEA for not condemning the “terrorist attack” at the complex, which Tehran has blamed on Israel. Iran has also blamed the Tel Aviv regime for another attack at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility in April.
“The Karaj site was attacked in a terrorist incident … and the Agency has not condemned the action. The site is being rebuilt and judicial and security authorities have opened a case on this site,” Eslami noted.
If they are truly law-abiding and sincere, the nuclear chief went on, “they have to acknowledge that the Agency’s failure to condemn a terrorist attack on an official [nuclear] site is a form of encouraging terrorism, which is regrettable.”
Eslami arrived in Moscow on Tuesday to meet with Russia’s senior officials and discuss a new framework for accelerating the implementation of nuclear projects in Iran.