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July 22, 2015 No.
6113

Atomic Energy Organization Of Iran Chief Ali Akbar Salehi: We Have Reached An Understanding With The IAEA On The PMD, Now Political Backing Exists And The Results Will Be Very Positive


Secretary-general Amano (left) with AEOI's Salehi (Image: IAEA)

The PMD (Possible Military Dimensions) issue that includes an investigation of suspicions that Iran previously conducted a military nuclear program, was one of the main stumbling blocks between Iran and the P5+1 and primarily between Iran and the United States and the EU3. These suspicions are based inter alia on a November 2011 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report that the agency had information on Iran's performance of activities related to nuclear weapons development until 2003 and that some of these activities were possibly continuing. Iran persistently refused to respond to all the IAEA's questions and due to its refusal to cooperate fully with the IAEA the UN Security Council passed six anti-Iran resolutions demanding that Iran cooperate immediately with the IAEA on this topic in order to disclose the truth.

On July 14, 2015, the day the Comprehensive Joint Plan of Action agreement between Iran and the P5+1 was declared, IAEA Secretary-General Yukio Amano and the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran chief Ali Akbar Salehi, one of the lead Iranian negotiator, signed a "roadmap agreement" in which Iran committed to provide the IAEA with clarifications and explanations on the PMD. Amano announced that if Iran would cooperate fully with the IAEA (as opposed to its conduct up to now) he could submit his conclusions by December 15, 2015.[1] Under the agreement the lifting of sanctions enters into effect only following the IAEA report's submission.

In an interview to the Iranian channel IRIB on July 21, 2015, Salehi disclosed that Iran has reached an understanding with the IAEA regarding the PMD; that now problems are solved on the political level and since political backing exists, the IAEA cannot do whatever it wants as it did in the past when such political backing did not exist. Therefore, the IAEA's PMD investigation would be most positive for Iran. Salehi explained that the IAEA had to act reasonably otherwise it would be the loser.

Below is the transcript of Salehi's IRIB interview:

Salehi: "By December 15, at the end of the year, the issue (of the PMD) should be determined. The IAEA will submit its report to the board of governors. It will only submit it. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action will continue independently of the results of this report. We have reached understandings with the IAEA. God willing, there will be very positive results. We do not accept the PMD issue, the (suspicions against) Iran's past (military nuclear) activity. We are resolving this in a political-technical framework, in order to deny them any pretext. Look, if it was decided that the (IAEA) will not be convinced no matter what... As the saying goes: If someone pretends to be asleep, you cannot wake him up. If someone does not want to be convinced, it does not matter how hard you try. You tell him that it is daytime, and he tells you that it's night. If the IAEA was not meant to be convinced in the regular track, it would never be convinced, regardless of what we did. They presented 18 questions, we answered them (but couldn't convince them), and there is nothing more that could be done. Now that the technical issues are being resolved on the political level, the pace has picked up. The technical issues are now being resolved in a political framework. They have set a time frame and, God willing, the issue must be resolved by December 15."

Interviewer: "But considering the IAEA's bad record regarding..."

Salehi: "In short, they will be the losers. As I have said, the issue has received political backing. The work of (the IAEA) must be reasonable. They cannot do anything unreasonable. When there is no political backing, they do whatever they want, but now there is political backing, and the issue should be resolved, and God willing, it will be."


Endnote:

[1] Iaea.org, July 14, 2015.