The head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, Mohammad Eslami, pledged a return to the nuclear negotiating table with “the lifting of all sanctions,” and defended the level of cooperation between Tehran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Eslami criticized, at the same time, what he described as the UN agency’s inaction over the attacks on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Speaking at the IAEA’s annual general conference in Vienna, Eslami said that the IAEA was requested, according to its statute, to assist member states in developing peaceful nuclear activities.
The Iranian official reiterated his country’s previous positions regarding the future of negotiations and demands to lift US sanctions, saying that the US policy of “maximum pressure” has failed.
He added that the US government had no choice but to abandon its “addiction to unilateral sanctions.”
In this regard, Eslami said: “After only about two and a half years of continuous expansion of comprehensive economic sanctions by the United States and the failure of the three European countries and the European Union to take practical measures to fulfill the commitments, Parliament passed a law on December 2, 2020.”
He continued: “Now is the time for the United States to correct its wrong policies, and first lift all sanctions in a practical way.” Eslami also said that the new government “wants to have fruitful negotiations aimed at removing unfair pressures and sanctions against the Iranian people.”
Iran’s main Natanz uranium enrichment facility was subjected to two attacks in June 2020 and April 2021. A third centrifuge assembly facility in Karaj was targeted by a drone last June.
Moreover, the Israeli Mossad assassinated Iranian Deputy Defense Minister Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who is known to be the mastermind of Iran’s weapons program. Eslami demanded the “prohibition” of any attack against installations of a “peaceful nature”. “Attacks on a nuclear facility used for peaceful purposes is contrary to international law,” he said.
“All armed attacks on peaceful nuclear facilities must be expressly prohibited.”