Iran Allows IAEA Voluntary Access As UNSC Blocks Snapback Attempt

Iran and the IAEA expressed confidence in the “independence, impartiality and professionalism” of the agency after agreeing on dates for the verification process.

Rabat – Iran will grant the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) unprecedented access to its military sites while the UNSC blocked a US attempt to reinstate sanctions. A joint statement today by the IAEA and Iran announced that Iran complied with the agency’s requests for new access, outside its original mandate.

Iran and the IAEA expressed confidence in the “independence, impartiality and professionalism” of the agency after agreeing on dates for the verification process to begin. It appears that Iran has called the bluff of the US and Israel. Both countries continue to push Iran for more inspections in an apparent effort to create suspicion and friction between Iran and its European and Asian partners.

The atomic agency said that Iran will be “voluntarily providing the IAEA with access to the two locations specified by the IAEA and facilitating the IAEA verification activities to resolve the issues” according to the Associated Press. “This will bring the case to an end,” said Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.

The IAEA has maintained a regular presence in Iran since the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Iran has allowed the agency greater access than the US and Israel themselves allow the agency. Israel currently does not allow any inspections of its nuclear arsenal while fear-mongering over Iranian “nuclear ambitions.”

Snapback blocked

As officials of Iran and the IAEA wrapped up their cordial visit, the US attempted to trigger new UN sanctions. The diplomatic efforts to use the US’ status as an original signatory to the JCPOA to trigger UN-wide sanctions met with fierce resistance.

Traditional European partners of the US opposed the American move at the UNSC on August 26, after abstaining in a vote on August 14. The US already instated sanctions on Iran even as Iranians complied with the JCPOA and the IAEA. The US campaign to punish the country has killed Iranian citizens and crushed the economy while the country faced a large COVID-19 epidemic.

It appears global opposition will not stop the US’ campaign of “maximum pressure.” US Ambassador Kelly Craft stated on August 25 that US efforts to push through more sanctions will come “in the absence of courage and moral clarity” of the Security Council members. She accused the UK, France, Russia, and China of “standing with terrorists.”

While Iran continues to comply with the requests of its JCPOA partners and the IAEA, the US appears intent on ignoring global opinions in its desire to sanction the country. While Iran clearly has strategic regional aspirations, the same can be said of many other countries who do not face such US retribution.

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