The United States said yesterday that if Iran backs off recently made commitments to the International Atomic Energy Agency, it would appear that the Islamic republic has “something to hide” (see GSN, Nov. 3).
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has praised an agreement to suspend Tehran’s uranium enrichment and allow international inspectors broad access to Iran’s nuclear facilities. He said recently, however, that Iran would not honor these commitments if the international community was too demanding.
Iran “has an obligation to cooperate fully with the IAEA to ensure verification of compliance with Iran’s safeguards agreement,” State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli said. “Threats from Iran to end such cooperation, rather than give the IAEA full access to and answers about its nuclear activities, would be gravely troubling and would further deepen the international community’s concerns that Iran continues to have something to hide from the IAEA,” he added.
Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, Javad Zarif, said that Tehran is cooperating fully and had submitted a complete report on its nuclear activities to the IAEA. The international nuclear agency has said that the report appears comprehensive, but more Iranian cooperation is expected in the future.
“Whether it takes the IAEA one day or two days or two weeks to verify that, it’s up to the IAEA,” Zarif said Sunday on CNN’s Late Edition. “We have agreed to suspend our uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities and we will send a notification to the IAEA that we are ready to sign the Additional Protocol [to Iran’s nuclear safeguards agreement] and start implementing it,” Zarif added.
The protocol would allow IAEA inspectors to conduct more intrusive monitoring of Iran’s nuclear activities (Elise Labott, CNN.com, Nov. 3).