The Kiev regime planned to use IAEA team as ‘human shields’ – Russia

September 01, 2022

RT reports:

The Russian military has provided new details on the botched Ukrainian raid on the Zaporozhye nuclear plant

Kiev forces wanted to seize the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant in a daring military raid and use the personnel of the UN nuclear watchdog as “human shields” to maintain control over the facility, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed on Thursday.

The botched raid came shortly before a team of experts with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) – including the organization’s head, Rafael Grossi – arrived at the plant for an inspection. According to the Russian military, multiple Ukrainian “saboteur groups” crossed the Kakhovka Reservoir in speedboats and barges near the plant early in the morning, but were intercepted and destroyed by Russian troops and National Guard forces.

Obviously, if the operation of the Kiev regime to seize the station was a success, the head of the IAEA, [Rafael] Grossi, and the experts of the mission would become a ‘human shield’ for Ukrainian saboteurs to prevent any attempts to destroy them by the Russian armed forces,” the Russian MoD said in a statement.

The operation aimed at capturing the nuclear power plant appears to have been “planned in advance by Zelensky’s regime,” the Russian military suggested. Moreover, the delay in Grossi’s visit to the installation, originally planned for August 31, stemmed from the Ukrainians’ need for more time to get ready for that “military provocation,” it alleged.

The ultimate goal of the operation was seizing control of the plant, while the presence of the IAEA team would have allowed the “saboteurs” to not only take cover from any potential Russian actions, but also to cement the new “status quo,” the military said. The success of the operation would have likely been reinforced by a “new wave of loud statements from Washington and European capitals, calling upon Russia to establish a ‘demilitarized zone’ around the nuclear plant, with IAEA observers guarded by Ukrainian troops,” it asserted.

In this regard, we fully understand the complete silence of all Western sponsors of the Zelensky regime, which de-facto confirms their tacit participation in the preparation of today’s provocation at the Zaporozhye plant,” the military concluded.

Western Propaganda and its Aftermath

August 31, 2022

Source

by Asia Teacher

As President Zelensky attains celebrity media status, revered by western political leaders and Hollywood’s glitterati all jostling for a photo shoot, let’s not forget the propaganda behind it and the consequences now beginning to emerge.

The western propaganda we’re currently experiencing is nothing new. Today’s President Putin joins yesterday’s Middle East “monsters” as current Ukrainian Nazi militias become “freedom fighters” and the Russians become “Nazis.” Likewise, the previous Middle Eastern terrorist groups became “moderate Islamist’s” but only if they were fighting for a US led NATO in Iraq and Syria. Yet such is the power of belief on an already stupefied majority western population that it’s become factual.

In our upside down world, reality has long vanished to 15% of our western leaders who regard themselves as the “international community.” On August 24th, only 54 countries out of 193 supported a UN resolution which condemned Russia for not stopping its intervention in the Ukraine, which begs the question of why, if the majority population loathe today’s western politicians, do they passionately and often even fanatically believe their every word?

Supplying weapons and financial aid to the Ukraine which enables Russia to get bogged down in an endless war with mounting casualties, coupled with sanctions to bring down Russian middle-class living standards is just another attempt at regime change. Moreover, having failed to control the Middle East oil producers, it has not gone unnoticed that Russia is itself a major gas and oil producer.

Bathsheba Crocker, US Ambassador to the UN warned in the New York Times on February 21st before the incursion occurred that Russia had a ‘hit list’ of people destined for arrest, detention and torture including “vulnerable populations such as religious and ethnic minorities and LGBTQI+ persons.” How she knew that is not explained, but the inclusion of homosexuals as a vulnerable group now appears mandatory in any media story.

From allegations presented as facts by Ukraine’s Human Rights Commissioner Lyudmyla Denisova and picked up by The British Daily Mail and the US New York Times in May, of multiple repeated child rapes and murders near Kiev. Meanwhile, Newsweek also in May ran the headline “Russians Targeting Kids’ Beds, Rooms With Explosives: Ukrainian Bomb Team”; what kind of sick minds dream this up?! Although written in a news format, both headlines carried disclaimers that the content remained unverified. In which case, why report it as news? One assumes that in time these stories will join Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction and the Ghost of Kyiv hoaxes.

The problem with current western propaganda is that it relies on sensationalism and each manufactured story must outdo the last to retain its WOW effect. In today’s world, neighbors Poland and Slovakia propose building an oil “peace pipeline” as opposed to what Polish President Morawiecki refers to as the German Nordstream “war pipeline.” Meanwhile, debate continues to rage over why Russia is shelling itself in the Zaporizhzia nuclear power plant with American made missiles and fragments of US HIMARS missiles found in Yelenovka, where 57 Azov prisoners died and 130 were wounded whilst giving testimony for the upcoming War Crimes trials. Getting rid of the evidence?

Who will western politicians blame if the weapons they’re sending to the Ukraine are responsible for another Chernobyl type incident as inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency arrive at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and before entering suggest the facility be handed back to the Ukrainian authorities. Am I the only one aghast at the thought of a nuclear plant in the hands of the Ukraine armed forces which number Neo-Nazi militia battalions in their ranks?

That the Ukraine is not about freedom and democracy but Russian regime change isn’t a well-kept secret. A year before the 2014 overthrow of Yanukovych, Carl Gershman, Director of US NGO National Endowment for Democracy (NED) had already stated: “Ukraine is the biggest prize … If it could be pulled away from Russia and into the West, Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself.” More recently, on the first of March 1st 2022, a spokesman for the British Prime Minister said, “but the measures [sanctions] we are introducing, that large parts of the world are introducing, are to bring down the Putin regime.” Or as Bruno Le Maire, French Minister of the Economy and Finance stated, “We are going to wage a total economic and financial war on Russia.”

Conversely, the opposite has happened. At the beginning of the intervention the ruble stood at 85 to the dollar. Yet today it’s 61.35; in other words, the ruble is actually strengthening against the dollar. No matter the amount or severity of sanctions, major oil producers, despite what any other calamities befall them, do not go bankrupt.

Yet six months into the incursion, the adverse effects of sanctions on energy and industrial fertilizers are becoming all too visible in the west. Soaring inflation and food prices, record bankruptcies and huge energy price increases as millions of Ukrainian immigrants flood into an already weakened and recession hit Western Europe. Who will blink first?

Although the west is currently in dire social and economic straits, removing President Putin and replacing him with another 1990’s Yeltsin type puppet would be a major boost for the west and Wall Street of course.

In our highly technologically advanced western societies, cheap energy and lots of it is why we exist as first-world societies. The alternative and sustainable green energy myth hasn’t happened as it doesn’t exist. If we take away our lifeblood support, what we’re beginning to experience is a terminal collapse. Despite the political pessimism and hype, when the present situation comes to an end our economies are not going to bounce back, the lost jobs aren’t going to return and inflation will not magically return to near zero. This is it, the final battle of civilizations and personally, I can do without identity politics, the homosexuality agenda, drug and crime epidemics and open borders.

Asia Teacher is a UK citizen, retired teacher of English plus Social and Political Science.

Putin To Macron: Ukraine’s Shelling Near Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant Poses Danger of Large-scale Disaster

August 21, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron have had their first phone call in almost three months to discuss the Ukraine conflict and nuclear security in the area of Zaporozhye, the Kremlin announced on Friday.

The call was initiated by the French side and saw the two leaders discuss “various aspects of the situation around Ukraine,” according to the Kremlin’s readout.

Putin emphasized that “the systematic shelling of the territory of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant by the Ukrainian military poses a danger of a large-scale disaster that could lead to radiation spillover onto a large territory,” Moscow said.

The two leaders agreed that a mission under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] should be dispatched to the NPP “as soon as possible” in order to assess the situation on site.

“The Russian side confirmed it’s ready to provide the Agency’s inspectors with all the necessary assistance,” the Kremlin said.

According to the Elysee Palace, Putin agreed that the IAEA mission to Zaporozhye NPP would be dispatched on the terms already arranged by Ukraine and the United Nations. This would mean that the IAEA delegation might travel via the territory currently controlled by Kiev’s forces. Previously, Moscow insisted that such a mission could arrive only via Russian-controlled territory.

The two sides will address this issue again in the coming days, after technical teams discuss the matter in detail, the Elysee said.

According to the Kremlin, Putin once again invited international experts to visit a detention facility in Yelenovka, in the Donetsk People’s Republic. An artillery attack on the prison, which Moscow says was carried out by Kiev’s forces, killed 50 Ukrainian POWs and injured dozens more last month.

Putin also informed Macron on the implementation of the deal for Ukrainian grain exports via the Black Sea. This agreement, which was brokered by the UN and Turkey, is also supposed to allow Russia to deliver fertilizers and food products to the global markets. However, the Kremlin noted, “obstacles for the Russian grain [export] persist,” which continues to have an adverse effect on global food security.

The most recent call between the two leaders took place on May 28 and also involved German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. During that conversation, Putin blamed Ukraine for the stalled peace talks, assuring his counterparts that Moscow remained ready to negotiate an end to the ongoing conflict and condemning the West for supplying Kiev with weapons.

Major news day for Russia: In conclusion of his working visit to Iran, Vladimir Putin answered questions from the media.

July 20, 2022

In conclusion of his working visit to Iran, Vladimir Putin answered questions from the media.

Question: Mr President, some would think the world has forgotten about Syria amid the numerous issues on the international agenda. But we have seen today that this is not so.

We would like to hear your views on the situation on the ground in Syria. A great deal has been said today about points of contact, but there are many differences as well. Have you discussed or coordinated any fundamentally new solutions today? I am referring primarily to these differences.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: What I would like to begin with is not the differences but the fundamental issues that allow us to work and continue our efforts in the trilateral format. All of us believe that it I necessary to guarantee the territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and to eliminate all sorts of terrorists, which I will not enumerate here. This is the fundamental and the most important thing, as we have pointed out again in our joint statement. I believe that this is very important.

Yes, there are certain differences, which is obvious, but all of us support the constitutional process. Thanks to our efforts, we have brought together various conflicting parties at one negotiating platform, including the opposition and the official authorities of the Syrian Arab Republic, experts and representatives of public organisations, as well as the UN. I believe this is extremely important. This is the first point.

The second. Humanitarian aid is being provided to Syria, for which there is particularly great demand today, because the sanctions imposed on Syria and the Syrian people have produced a deplorable result: nearly 90 percent of people in Syria are living below the poverty line. The situation in Syria is extremely serious.

Of course, it would be unfair to give priority attention to certain groups, to politicise humanitarian aid.

Third. There are different approaches to organising humanitarian aid. We have always believed that it should be organised in full compliance with international humanitarian law. This means that all humanitarian aid must be provided through the official Syrian authorities, through Damascus. However, we have agreed to extend the existing procedure for six months, including for deliveries to the Idlib zone, so as to have more time for coordinating our positions.

There is some disagreement about what is happening in Northern Syria. Incidentally, we also have some common ground here: all of us believe that US troops should leave this area. This is the first point. And they should stop looting the Syrian state, the Syrian people, taking their oil illegally. But there is disagreement about how to organise and stabilise the situation in that region. As you know, Russian-Turkish observation convoys are working there together.

However, in our view, in order to ensure a long-term, stable situation there it is necessary to transfer the entire territory under the control of the official authorities in Damascus, under the control of the Armed Forces of the Syrian Arab Republic, and then it will be possible to hold a dialogue with those who are responsible – in this case the official Syrian authorities. I believe it would greatly stabilise the situation there.

But in general, it is work in progress. As I have said many times and would like to stress once again, the work of this tripartite group – Russia, Turkiye and Iran – this joint effort to search for compromises and find these compromises has led to the fact that over 90% of Syria is now under official government control and, as we say in such cases, we have broken the back of international terrorism there. This is a great result of this joint work.

Question: Mr President, you had three one-on-one meetings today, first with Mr Raisi, then with Mr Khamenei, and then with Mr Erdogan, and there were no news conferences after these meetings. All we know is the topic you were discussing, the official part.

In particular, you said that you discussed the grain issue with your Turkish counterpart, the issue of supplying Russian and Ukrainian grain to international markets. Could you tell us some more about that, please?

Vladimir Putin: There are no secrets here; in fact, almost everything is known. There are some subtleties; maybe I do not always have time to follow what is happening in the information field. I will tell you how I see it.

First, what was the highlight of the three meetings? At each meeting, there were issues that could be considered central to a particular bilateral meeting.

For example, as I said at the news conference, in my press statement, the main theme at the meeting with the Spiritual Leader of Iran was strategic issues, including developments in the region. This is natural, as it is the sphere of his activity. It was very important for me to hear his opinion, his assessment. I have to say that we have very similar views with Iran on many aspects. So, it was very important and very useful.

As for my meeting with President Raisi, we discussed primarily economic matters. I would like to note that Russian-Iranian trade has grown by 40 percent over the past six months. This is a very good indicator.

There are promising spheres for our cooperation, and there is a great variety of them, like infrastructure development. You may know that a deputy prime minister of the Russian Government chairs a group that is responsible for developing relations in the South Caucasus, including infrastructure projects in the South Caucasus, that is, in Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia. A great deal can be achieved in this sphere in cooperation with Iran.

As you know, the first pilot train is travelling along the North-South Railway line. It is a short route to ports in the south of Iran, which further leads to the Persian Gulf and India.

There is a practical project: the Rasht-Astara railway is a short 146-kilometre line across Iran. Azerbaijan is interested in its construction. I recently met with President Aliyev during the Caspian Summit, and we discussed this matter. Iran is interested in this as well, as our Iranian partners have told us just now. Russia is interested in this, because it will connect Russia’s northern region, St Petersburg, directly to the Persian Gulf. It is a very interesting and promising project. The task now is to build this line, which is only 146 kilometres. Russia is ready to do this.

We need to coordinate the conditions of this construction project. We have discussed its general outlines with our Iranian partners and friends, and we have coordinated it with Azerbaijan. I hope we will get down to business now. And then, it will be an interesting job for us. It actually amounts to exporting the services of Russian Railways (RZD). This is one of the relevant examples.

There are other spheres. There are security issues relevant to Iran’s nuclear programme. It was very important for us to understand the sentiments of the Iranian party regarding this work. It also involves Russia, which is contributing to the joint efforts aimed at relaunching interaction between Iran and the IAEA. I will not speak about this now, but Russia is playing a considerable role in this.

The grain issue. It is what we discussed with the President of Turkiye. I have already said that the Republic of Turkiye and personally President Erdogan have done a great deal to facilitate the agreement on Ukrainian grain exports. But initially we suggested that it should be adopted as a package, that is, we would facilitate the Ukrainian grain exports provided all the restrictions on the potential exports of Russian grain are lifted. This is what we initially agreed upon with international organisations. They pledged to formulate this as a package solution. Nobody has so far raised any objections, including our American partners. We will see what comes of it in the near future.

As you know, the Americans have actually lifted restrictions, for example, on the delivery of Russian fertilisers to the global market. I hope this will also happen with regard to the export of Russian grain if they really want to improve the situation on the global food markets. As I have said, we are ready to do this right now. We can export 30 million tonnes of grain, and our export potential based on this year’s harvest will be 50 million tonnes.

Question: Mr President, a serious energy crisis is developing in Europe, which is discussing the possibility of Gazprom cutting off gas deliveries. The company has allegedly issued an official notification to one of its German clients, citing force majeure circumstances.

Are there grounds for accusing Russia of causing this energy crisis? Will Gazprom continue to honour its obligations

Vladimir Putin: First of all, Gazprom has always honoured, and will continue to honour its commitments.

There are no grounds at all for the attempts by our partners to shift or try to shift the blame for their own mistakes on Russia and Gazprom.

What is the situation with energy deliveries? In 2020, in the first half of 2020, gas cost 100 euros per 1,000 cubic metres in Europe. The price rose to 250 euros in the first half of 2021. Today it is 1,700 euros per 1,000 cubic metres of gas.

What is happening? I have spoken about this on numerous occasions, and I do not know if we should go into detail regarding the energy policies of European countries, which underrate the importance of traditional sources of energy and have put money on non-traditional energy sources. They are big experts on non-traditional relations, and they have also decided to make a bid for non-traditional energy sources like the sun and wind.

Last winter was long, there wasno wind, and that did it. Investment in the fixed assets of traditional energy producers has decreased because of previous political decisions: banks do not finance them, insurance companies do not insure them, local governments do not allocate land plots for new projects, and pipeline and other forms of transportation are not developing. This is a result of many years, probably a decade of this policy. This is the root cause of price hikes rather than any actions by Russia or Gazprom.

What is going on today? Until recently, we supplied gas to Europe without Turkiye: we supplied around 30 billion cubic metres a year to Turkiye, and 170 billion to Europe, 55 billion via Nord Stream 1, and, if memory serves me, 33 billion were supplied via Yamal-Europe, via the two strings that run through Ukraine. About 12 billion were delivered to Europe through Turkiye via TurkStream.

Ukraine suddenly announced that it was going to close one of the two routes on its territory. Allegedly because the gas pumping station is not under its control but on the territory of the Lugansk People’s Republic. But it found itself under the control of the Lugansk People’s Republic several months before, and they closed it just recently without any grounds. Everything was functioning normally there, no one interfered. In my opinion, they closed it simply for political reasons.

What happened next? Poland imposed sanctions on Yamal-Europe, which supplied 33 billion cubic metres of gas. They used to take 34, I think, 33–34 million cubic metres a day from us. They shut it down completely. But then we saw that they turned on the Yamal-Europe pipeline in reverse mode, and they started taking about 32 million a day from Germany. Where is the gas from Germany coming from? It is our Russian gas. Why from Germany? Because it turned out to be cheaper for the Poles. They used to get it from us at a very high price, closer to the market price, whereas Germany gets it from us 3–4 times cheaper than the market price under long-term contracts.

It is profitable for German companies to sell it to the Poles at a small premium. It is profitable for the Poles to buy it because it is cheaper than to buy it directly from us. But the volume of gas in the European market has decreased, and the total market price has gone up. Who has won? All Europeans only lost. This is the second point: Yamal-Europe.

So, first one of the routes in Ukraine was shut down, then Yamal-Europe was shut down, now Nord Stream 1, which is one of the main routes – we pump 55 billion cubic metres a year through it. There are five Siemens gas compressor stations working there, and one is on standby. One compressor had to be sent out for repairs. A repaired compressor was supposed to come from Canada, from the Siemens plant in Canada, to replace it. But it ended up under sanctions in Canada. So, one pumping station, just one piece of equipment was out of order because of scheduled maintenance work and it has not been returned from Canada.

Now we are being told that the unit will be delivered from Canada soon, but Gazprom does not have any official documents yet. We must certainly obtain them, because this is our property, it is the property of Gazprom. Gazprom should receive not only the hardware, not only the gas pumping unit, but also the accompanying documents, both legal and technical documentation. We must be able to see what Gazprom is taking – the turbine’s current condition as well as its legal status, whether it is under sanctions or not, what we can do with it, or maybe they are taking it back tomorrow. But that is not all.

The problem is that at the end of July, on July 26, I think – we can ask Gazprom – another turbine should be sent for routine maintenance, for repairs. And where will we get a replacement from? We do not know.

One more turbine is actually out of order because of some crumbling of its internal liner. Siemens has confirmed this. That leaves two operational units, which are pumping 60 million per day. So, if one more is delivered, fine, we will have two in operation. But if it is not, only one will be left, and it will pump only 30 million cubic meters per day. You can count how much time it will take to pump the rest. How is this Gazprom’s responsibility? What does Gazprom even have to do with this? They have cut off one route, then another, and sanctioned this gas pumping equipment. Gazprom is ready to pump as much gas as necessary. But they have shut everything down.

And they have fallen into the same trap with the import of oil and petroleum products. We hear all sorts of crazy ideas about capping the volume of Russian oil imports or the price of Russian oil. This is going to lead to the same situation as with gas. The result (I am surprised to hear people with university degrees saying this) will be the same – rising prices. Oil prices will spiral.

As for gas, there is another route we are ready to open, which is Nord Stream 2. It is ready to be launched, but they are not launching it. There are problems here as well, I discussed them with the Chancellor about six or maybe eight weeks ago. I raised this issue; I said that Gazprom had reserved the capacity, and that this capacity needed to be used, and it cannot be suspended in mid-air indefinitely.

The answer was that there were other issues on the agenda, more important things, so it is difficult for them to deal with this right now. But I had to warn them that then we would have to redirect half of the volume intended for Nord Stream for domestic consumption and processing. I raised this issue at the request of Gazprom, and Gazprom has actually already done it. Therefore, even if we launch Nord Stream 2 tomorrow, it will not pump 55 billion cubic meters, but exactly half that amount. And given that we are already halfway through this year, it would be just a quarter. Such is the supply situation.

But – I said this at the beginning of my answer to your question and I want to end with this – Gazprom has always fulfilled and will always fulfil all of its obligations, as long as, of course, anyone needs it. First, they themselves close everything, and then they look for someone to blame – it would be comical if it were not so sad.

Question: You spoke with Mr Erdogan today. He has repeatedly stated his readiness to arrange talks between you and Vladimir Zelensky. Has this issue surfaced today? Are you ready to meet with the President of Ukraine?

Vladimir Putin: President Erdogan is making a lot of efforts to create the necessary conditions for normalising the situation. It was during our talks in Istanbul that we actually reached an agreement, and it only remained to initial it. But, as you know, after that, when our troops, in order to create the right conditions, withdrew from central Ukraine, from Kiev, the Kiev authorities backed off on those agreements. These were agreements that had actually been achieved. So, you see that the final result depends, of course, not on intermediaries, but on the parties’ commitment to fulfil the agreements reached. And we can see today that the Kiev authorities have no interest in that.

As for Turkiye’s efforts, as well as other countries’ proposals – Saudi Arabia has offered its mediation services, and the United Arab Emirates, and they do have such capabilities – we are grateful to all our friends who are interested in resolving this crisis for providing their opportunities. Even their willingness to make some contribution to this noble cause is worth a lot. We are deeply grateful for that.

IAEA claims Iran is preparing to increase uranium enrichment

The only activity Iran has confirmed is the ‘passivation of the cascade, a process that precedes enrichment and also involves feeding UF6 into the machines’

June 21, 2022

A uranium enrichment centrifuge cascade. (Photo credit: US Department of Energy/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

ByNews Desk

According to an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report obtained by Reuters, the Islamic Republic of Iran is allegedly preparing to increase nuclear enrichment with advanced centrifuges at the Fordow underground nuclear facility.

The Reuters report, released on 20 June, cites IAEA allegations that Iran is getting ready to use advanced IR-6 centrifuges at the Fordow facility. The report states such centrifuges allow operators to easily switch between enrichment levels.

This is one of many gradual steps Iran has stated it will carry out in retaliation for Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) under then president Donald Trump, as well as the subsequent US sanctions placed on Iran regularly since then.

The IAEA alleges that Iran is “ready to feed uranium hexafluoride (UF6) gas, the material centrifuges enrich, into the second of two cascades, or clusters, of IR-6 centrifuges installed at Fordow,” according to the report.

The only activity that Iran has directly confirmed, according to the report, is “passivation of the cascade, a process that precedes enrichment and also involves feeding UF6 into the machines.”

Iran has not confirmed as to what purity the cascade will enrich to. In the past, Iran had informed the IAEA that IR-6 cascades can enrich either 5 percent or 20 percent purity.

The Fordow nuclear facility was targeted for a sabotage attack on 15 March, but the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) thwarted the plot, which they claim was orchestrated by Israeli spies.

On 17 June, Iran informed the IAEA that it is moving some of the nuclear activities from the facility in Karaj to the facility in Natanz, despite not having an obligation to disclose this information.

The Karaj facility was subject to a sabotage attack in June 2021, which damaged several cameras. Iranian authorities asserted that Israel was behind the attack on the site infrastructure.

On 9 June, Iranian media reported on the expansion of the production and installation of advanced IR-6 centrifuge networks in the underground Natanz nuclear facility.

The decision to expand came one day after the IAEA Board of Governors passed an “anti-Iran” resolution introduced by the US, UK, France, and Germany.

The head of the AEOI, Mohammad Eslami, said on 9 June that the IAEA has been hijacked and is being exploited by Israel.

The anti-Iran resolution was adopted just days after IAEA chief Rafael Grossi traveled to Israel to meet with outgoing Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

Israel has a semi-secret arsenal of several hundred atomic weapons. Its nuclear program – which includes both commercial and military applications – is not subject to inspections nor scrutiny by the IAEA.

In response to the US-backed IAEA resolution, on 8 June, Iran shut down several IAEA-owned CCTV cameras that surveil the activities of Iran’s nuclear facilities. The Iranian foreign ministry stated that their response was “decisive and appropriate.”

The Islamic Republic has previously presented evidence that the IAEA sends in spies and saboteurs under the guise of nuclear inspectors, who allegedly pass sensitive information on to Iran’s adversaries.

Skepticism towards the neutrality of IAEA also increased after the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

انتخابات الكيان المبكّرة وعلم الاحتمالات

June 20, 2022

ناصر قنديل

في ظاهر الأمور جاء قرار الائتلاف الحاكم في الكيان بحل الكنيست والذهاب إلى انتخابات مبكرة يرجّح أن تجري في شهر تشرين الأول المقبل، تعبيراً عن تطوّرات المشهد السياسي الداخلي في الكيان، مع وجود حكومة تمزقها تناقضات مركبة بين مكوّناتها الآتية من أصناف اليمين واليسار، والتي تشكلت بأغلبية هزيلة، بعدما دنا موعد انتقال الرئاسة بين شركائها من ضفة اليمين الى ضفة يسار الوسط، من نفتالي بينيت إلى يائير لبيد، وفي ظل هشاشة الدعم النيابي الذي تلقاه بعدما بدأت الأغلبية بالتداعي، ووجود التحدي الدائم الذي يلوح به الخصم القوي بنيامين نتنياهو والذي يعرض على التصويت يوم غد الأربعاء لإجراء انتخابات مبكرة ويمكن لن يحصد أغلبية الكنيست، إذا صحت التقديرات بانتقال أكثر من نائب من ضفة الائتلاف الى ضفة نتنياهو، لكن هل هذا يكفي لتفسير قرار بحجم إدخال الكيان في حالة فراغ على مستوى القرار السياسي الأول في لحظات تبدو شديدة الدقة في تاريخه، حيث المواجهة مع قطاع غزة في تنامٍ، والمشهد في الضفة الغربية يتصاعد، والتوتر جمر تحت الرماد مع لبنان في ظل أزمة النفط والغاز وترسيم الحدود والبدء باستثمار حقل بحر عكا، بعد اتفاق أوروبي إسرائيلي على صفقة دسمة، بينما التحدي بين الكيان وإيران في ذروته، وكلها تحديات دفعت بالأحزاب للتفكير بحكومة وحدة وطنية في ظروف مشابهة؟

يمنح تزامن قرار الائتلاف الحاكم في الكيان مع التحضيرات الجارية لزيارة الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن الى المنطقة، بعداً خاصاً، حيث كشفت التقارير الصحافية الأميركية والإسرائيلية عن ضغوط أميركية على الائتلاف الحاكم والمعارضة معاً لاستبعاد اندلاع أزمة حكومية، والذهاب لحل الكنيست، بهدف تمرير زيارة بايدن بعد أقل من شهر، بوجود حكومة كاملة المواصفات في الكيان، يمكن أن تتم الزيارة بوجودها وتكون ذات جدوى، خصوصاً أن ما كشف عن مضمون الزيارة يقول إن التعاون الخليجي الإسرائيلي في بناء شبكات موحّدة للرادارات تحت قيادة أميركية، يشكل أحد أهداف الزيارة، بينما رفعت بعض الصحف الإسرائيلية سقوف توقعاتها للقول إن زيارة بايدن تهدف للحصول على موافقة سعودية على التطبيع مع «إسرائيل» كثمن للاعتراف الأميركي بشرعية تولي ولي العهد السعودي للعرش في بلاده، ويجري الترويج لزيارة الرئيس الأميركي بصفتها تعبيراً عن انسداد الخيار التفاوضي بين واشنطن وطهران، وترجيح كلفة خيار المواجهة بينهما.

ثمة مؤشرات معاكسة يأخذها بعض المحللين ضمن دائرة الاحتمالات والفرضيّات، فالكلام الأميركي عن قرب امتلاك إيران لما يكفي لامتلاك قنبلة نووية وإرفاقه بالإعلان عن الاستعداد للعودة الى الاتفاق النووي، رغم إلقاء اللوم على إيران لتعثر التفاوض، بقي غير مفهوم الوظيفة في ظل التصعيد الأميركي بوجه إيران، وساء بحجز ناقلة النفط في اليونان وطائرة الركاب في الأرجنتين، أو التصعيد في مجلس حكام الوكالة الدولية للطاقة الذرية، ومثله الجواب الإيراني بتأكيد الجهوزية للعودة الى الاتفاق، وإلقاء اللوم على واشنطن في التعثر، في مناخ عالي السقف في الحديث عن الجهوزية لمواجهة أية اعتداءات إسرائيلية، واللغة القاسية في الرد على الوكالة الدولية، ما فتح الباب للحديث عن فرضية تقول بأن واشنطن وطهران تتجهان للتوقيع على الاتفاق. وهذا معنى تصريحات المستشار الإعلامي للوفد الإيراني في فيينا عن عدم وجود بند رفع العقوبات عن الحرس الثوري في الطلبات الإيرانية التفاوضية من جهة، وعدم استعداد إيران لتقديم أي تعهد بعدم ملاحقة المسؤولين الأميركيين عن اغتيال القائد قاسم سليماني، ووفقاً لهذه الفرضية فإن زيارة بايدن تهدف لتقديم ضمانات لـ«إسرائيل» بأنها لن تكون وحدها في حال تعرّضها للاستهداف من إيران، وأن واشنطن ستكون مسؤولة عن منظومة رادارات وتعمل في الخليج وترتبط بشبكة الباتريوت من القبة الحديدية التي تقودها واشنطن أصلاً داخل الكيان، وان الرئيس الأميركي بعد إنهاء هذه المهمة سيعتبر أنه بات طليق اليدين في العودة للتفاوض وصولاً لتوقيع الاتفاق مع إيران.

إذا صحت هذه الفرضية تكون الإطاحة الذاتية بالحكومة الائتلافية في الكيان، استباقاً وقائياً من مثل هذا الخيار، واعتماد الفراغ الحكومي في الكيان لتحقيق الفراغ التفاوضيّ بين واشنطن وطهران.

Iran Shuts Off IAEA Cameras with Access beyond Safeguards Agreement

 June 8, 2022

The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) announced on Wednesday that the International Atomic Energy Agency’s surveillance cameras recording data beyond the Safeguards Agreement in the country have been deactivated.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said while Tehran has extensively cooperated with the UN nuclear agency, the IAEA has unfortunately ignored the fact that such cooperation signifies Iran’s goodwill, has been ungrateful for the cooperation, and has considered it as a duty of Iran.

As a result, Iran decided to shut off the ultra-Safeguards Agreement cameras monitoring enrichment levels (OLEM or Online Enrichment Monitor) and flowmeters of the IAEA as of Wednesday, June 8, it added.

However, the statement noted, more than 80 percent of the IAEA’s cameras in Iran have access to data within the framework of the Safeguards Agreement which will continue to operate as before.

The OLEM is obviously used to monitor the enrichment of uranium gas through piping at the enrichment facilities.

The spokesperson for the AEOI visited a nuclear site on Wednesday to observe the process of deactivating the two cameras of the IAEA.

The Iranian authorities had already warned the parties seeking to submit an anti-Iran resolution at the IAEA Board of Governors meeting that they will have to take responsibility for the consequences.

The US and the EU troika –the UK, Germany and France- submitted the draft to the 35-nation board on Tuesday, accusing Iran of failing to offer transparent responses to the IAEA’s questions over nuclear activities at three sites.

Source: Iranian media (edited by Al-Manar English Website)

Has “Israel” Crossed A Red Line With Iran?

 June 2, 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen English

Robert Inlakesh 

What Iran’s retaliation in March showed was that the Islamic Republic is willing to turn up the heat on “Israel” when the time is right to do so.

Has “Israel” Crossed A Red Line With Iran?

The Zionist regimes’ provocations against Iran have been constant for years, but has its latest actions crossed a red line for which “Tel Aviv” may pay dearly?

It is no secret that “Israel” played a large role in the propaganda campaign against the Islamic Republic of Iran, which provided the excuse for the US government to violate the Obama-era Nuclear Deal, paving the way for a sanctions war on Tehran. Israeli allegations of a coming Iranian Nuclear Weapon can be traced back to October 1992, when former Israeli President Shimon Peres claimed that Tehran would have the bomb by 1999. Therefore, such claims are rarely taken seriously by any reputable international organization.

The latest attempt to scaremonger, over an alleged Iranian pursuit of nukes, by “Israel”, came this Tuesday from Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. Bennett claimed, in a similar style to former Israeli PM, Benjamin Netanyahu, through preschooler geared presentations, that “Israel” had obtained secret files which prove Iran’s lies about its nuclear weapons program. Evidently, there is no evidence that such a nuclear weapons program exists, let alone that “Israel’s” newly released documents prove that Tehran tricked the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Whilst this type of propaganda from “Tel Aviv” is certainly a nuisance to Iran, it does not exactly warrant any sort of crushing response, but when it is combined with the Zionist regime’s recent actions, it may be doing the opposite of helping the Zionist cause. 

It is well known now that an Israeli role has been alleged in the assassination of Quds Force General, Qassem Soleimani, back in January of 2020. Then, on November 27, 2020, agents, said to have been working on behalf of the Israeli Mossad, assassinated Iran’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh on Iranian soil. There was also the attack on the Natanz nuclear facility in 2021, which Iranian officials blamed on “Israel”. These are but a few of the most recent provocations by “Israel” against Iran.

The latest assassination carried out by Israeli Mossad took place in Tehran, claiming the life of Hassan Sayyad Khodaei, a member of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC). The following day, “Israel’s” minister of war, Benny Gantz applauded a recent US government position to not budge on the issue of taking the IRGC off of Washington’s designated “terrorist organizations” list. It has become clear that not only will “Israel” carry out such assassinations, but it insists on attempting to rub such actions in the faces of the Iranians. 

If anything can be learned from Tehran’s newly set rules of engagement, it is that engagement in a tit-for-tat battle with “Israel” is no problem at all for the IRGC. Following the killing of 2 Iranian nationals in an Israeli airstrike, in the vicinity of Syria’s capital city, Damascus, Iran announced it would take revenge. On March 13, Iran’s IRGC launched around a dozen ballistic missiles into Erbil, Iraq, targeting Israeli Mossad bases. According to reports, three Mossad agents were killed and 7 were wounded.

What Iran’s retaliation in March showed was that the Islamic Republic is willing to turn up the heat on “Israel” when the time is right to do so. Despite clear indications that Tehran will respond to the latest assassination of its IRGC member, “Tel Aviv” can’t seem to help itself when it comes to rubbing salt into the wound. This has been done through its anti-Iranian rhetoric, and also by provoking the Palestinian Resistance and all the regional forces, by crossing all red lines in occupied Al-Quds, desecrating the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound last Sunday during the Israeli settlers’ “Flag march”.

If the Zionist regime was a boxer, it would be running around taunting its opponent blindfolded, with its chin out, confident that it won’t get hit. It’s easy to see how, with a little patience, the resistance forces in the region will dish out a serious blow. “Israel” has been repeatedly warned to not cross certain red lines and continually crosses those red lines, dancing on the graves of those it kills when it gets there.

It is just a matter of time before Iran takes its revenge, along with the other resistance forces in the region, and the immature settler leaders will surely pay dearly for their words and deeds.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Envoy: IAEA Report Fails to Reflect Iran’s Vast COOP with UN Nuke Agency

May 31, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

Iran’s permanent representative to the Vienna-based International Organizations says a latest report by the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] on the country’s stockpile of enriched uranium is one-sided and fails to reflect Iran’s extensive cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog.

Mohammad Reza Ghaebi made the comment on Monday after the IAEA claimed that it estimated Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium had grown to more than 18 times the limit laid down in the 2015 deal between Tehran and world powers.

The limit in the 2015 Iran deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA], was set at 300 kg [660 pounds] of a specific compound, the equivalent of 202.8 kg of uranium.

The report by Rafael Grossi, the director-general of the UN nuclear agency, also claimed that Iran was continuing its enrichment of uranium to levels higher than the 3.67 percent limit in the landmark accord.

“The IAEA Director-General’s report does not reflect Iran’s extensive cooperation with the IAEA,” Ghaebi said. “The report concludes exactly what the Director-General presented to the European Parliament before the third round of technical talks, even before the end of the steps set out in the joint statement.”

Iran’s permanent representative to the Vienna-based International Organizations said the report, by putting aside the detailed, reasoned and technical arguments put forward by the Iranian side and unfairly calling them invalid, continues to rely on the agency’s predetermined assumptions and presents its one-sided conclusion accordingly.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran considers this approach unconstructive and destructive to the close relations and ongoing cooperation between Iran and the IAEA,” Ghaebi noted. “And believes that the IAEA should realize the ruinous consequences of publishing such one-sided reports, which could provide the necessary excuse for opponents of Iran-IAEA relations as well as the sworn critics of the revival of the JCPOA.”

In a separate report also issued on Monday, the IAEA claimed it still had questions which were “not clarified” regarding previous undeclared nuclear material at three Iranian sites.

The report said Iran has offered the explanation of an “act of sabotage by a third party to contaminate” the sites, but added no proof had been provided to corroborate this.

Pointing to the IAEA’s second report, Ghaebi said the entire peaceful nuclear activities of the Islamic Republic have been carried out within the framework of the Non-Proliferation Treaty [NPT], and in accordance with the legal compensatory measures in the law adopted by the Iranian Parliament following the suspension of Iran’s nuclear obligations due to non-fulfillment of obligations by other parties.

“Therefore, the Agency will not gain access to the memory information of its deployed cameras and other information in this regard until an agreement is reached for the revival of the JCPOA,” Ghaebi underlined.

The senior diplomat said the Islamic Republic has repeatedly warned the IAEA’s officials of the need to refrain from disclosing detailed information on the country’s nuclear activities based on the importance of the principle of confidentiality with regard to the IAEA regulations, but the issue has not received serious attention from the Agency.

The Monday reports come as talks in the Austrian capital of Vienna to revive the landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers remain deadlocked after stalling in March.

Russia’s lead negotiator to the Vienna talks Mikhail Ulyanov reacted to the leakage of the UN agency’s reports to the mass media, and said the move would lead to a lot of speculations before and during the meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors next week.

“As always, the IAEA Director General’s reports on Iran were immediately leaked to mass media today. We can expect a lot of speculations in the days to come and heated debates in the IAEA Board of Governors next week,” Ulyanov wrote in a tweet.

Several rounds of negotiations between Iran and the P4+1 group of countries – Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia – have been held in the Austrian capital since April 2021 to bring Washington back into the deal. The talks, however, exclude American diplomats due to their country’s withdrawal.

Talks have been on hold since March as the US insists on its refusal to undo its past wrongs, including removing Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards [IRG] from its foreign terrorist organization list.

Iran maintains that IRG’s designation in 2019 was part of former president Donald Trump administration’s so-called maximum pressure campaign against Iran, and therefore, it has to be reversed unconditionally.

The Joe Biden administration disagrees, even though it has admitted on countless occasions that Trump’s maximum pressure policy has been a disastrous failure. It has retained the IRG’s designation and the economic sanctions as leverage in the talks.

Saudi Arabia, UAE Leaders Not Returning Biden’s Calls, Disappointed With US – WSJ

March 9, 2022 

By Staff, Agencies

The leaders of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates [UAE] have declined calls from US President Joe Biden for several weeks, the Wall Street Journal [WSJ] reported on Wednesday citing officials in the Middle East and the United States.

The messages of dissatisfaction sent by Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and Emirati Shiekh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan come as the two leaders share concerns over the American response to recent counterattacks by the Yemeni resistance.

The two nations are also reportedly disappointed with the state of negotiations in the ever-nearing Iran nuclear deal, according to the WSJ.

The deal, which IAEA chief Rafael Grossi called “very complex,” does not account for Saudi and Emirati security interests, they claimed.

The US has been pushing to repair its relations with the two nations as it looks to stifle an oil crisis. Biden announced a ban on Russian oil imports on Tuesday as gas prices reach all-time highs globally.

“There was some expectation of a phone call [between Biden and MBS], but it didn’t happen,” an American source told WSJ, adding that the call was intended to focus on “turning on the spigot [of Saudi oil].”

In addition, support from the Middle Eastern oil giants is increasingly important to the US in order to create a united front against Russia due to its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Saudi Arabia has long been disappointed with its reportedly deteriorating relationship with the US since Biden was sworn in, according to the report. Along with more support in Yemen, the Saudis are reportedly seeking assistance with their own nuclear program, in addition to clarification on MBS’ legal position in the US due to lawsuits filed over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.

In an interview with The Atlantic earlier this month, the Saudi crown prince commented on his relationship with Biden, stating he “does not care whether Biden misunderstood things about him.”

Biden should be “focusing on America’s interests,” MBS said, adding that he “does not have the right to lecture America and the same goes the other way.”

However, MBS also reiterated that Riyadh’s objective was to maintain and strengthen its “long, historical” relationship with the US.

CRUCIAL!! Deputy Prime Minister Novak on Russian energy options (MUST SEE!)

March 08, 2022

Russian gas export; Russia oil export; European energy market. Alexander Novak is currently the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation; previously served as the Minister of Energy

Thanks for E. for subtitling this CRUCIAL statement: (please press on “cc’ to see the English language subtitles)

A Russian wrench in Vienna halts US dash for the finish line

In an eleventh-hour shot across Vienna’s bow, the Russians challenged the US ‘weaponization of the dollar’ with the ‘weaponization of the atom.’

March 07 2022

By MK Bhadrakumar

On 5 March, Moscow demanded written guarantees of sanctions waivers from US President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken that would preserve Russia’s ambitious economic, scientific-technological and military collaboration projects in the pipeline with Iran.

The clock is ticking on Vienna sanctions-removal talks, but the Ukraine crisis has injected some new, valid, sanctions-related snafus into negotiations.Photo Credit: The Cradle

While privately, Iranian delegation members in Vienna were undoubtedly miffed at this eleventh-hour wrench in the works, Tehran’s official position was stoic.

“Russia is a responsible member of nuclear negotiations, and it has always proven that, not like America,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokeman Saeed Khatibzadeh informed reporters on Monday.

“It is natural for us to discuss its [Russia’s] demands,” he continued, and bolstered Moscow’s position by adding: “What really matters is that the nuclear cooperation relations between Iran and various countries should not be subject to sanctions.”

March 5 also happens to be the anniversary of the date the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) entered into force in 1970.

The fate of the NPT may now hinge on the US response. For, if the Biden administration rides the high horse, that will almost certainly be a deal-breaker for the current negotiations in Vienna to broker the US’ return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

On the other hand, a golden opportunity is now at hand for Iran too to hang tough on its remaining demands — that is, removing the US designation of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization; a firm guarantee that a future US government will not (again) renege on the nuclear deal; and, conclusively closing the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) case on Tehran’s nuclear program. Russia is firmly supportive of Iran’s demands.

The chances of Biden obliging Moscow with sanctions waivers are nil, as that would lethally damage US prestige and make a complete mockery of its ‘weaponization of the dollar’ (which is what sanctions are about). Without using sanctions as a weapon, the US is increasingly unable to force its will on other countries.

The “sanctions from hell” recently imposed on Russia demonstrate a new cutting edge, and include the freezing of Russia’s central bank reserves. It is a cynical move to the extreme which may come with significant unforeseen repercussions. For one, the US looks to be sending a powerful message to China as well, which holds something like 2-3 trillion dollars as US Treasury bonds.

China draws its own lines

The call from Blinken to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on March 5 — the same day Russia transmitted its demand for sanction waivers — suggests that China is no doubt closely observing developments. Wang told Blinken point-blank that Beijing has “grave concern over recent words and deeds of the US side,” especially with regard to Taiwan, and expects “concrete actions” by the Americans to shore up the relationship.

China has consistently opposed US sanctions. On the issue of Ukraine, Wang Yi cautioned Washington from taking further actions that “add fuel to the fire” (alluding to reported plans to dispatch foreign mercenaries to join the fighting), and importantly, “to engage in equal dialogue with Russia, face up to the frictions and problems accumulated over the years, pay attention to the negative impact of NATO’s continuous eastward expansion on Russia’s security, and seek to build a balanced, effective and sustainable European security mechanism in accordance with the ‘indivisibility of security’ principle.”

Suffice to say, if China is not caving in, the strong likelihood is that the negotiations in Vienna may soon lose momentum. The latest Russian demand can even prove a deal-maker. The action-reaction syndrome used to be a staple of the superpower nuclear competition. But Russians seem to have now found an ingenious new dimension to it: counter US dollar weaponization by extending the countermeasure to the nuclear non-proliferation issue.

“Weaponizing the atom”

By doing so, Russia has elevated the American sanctions regime far beyond the crude money terms of seizing central bank dollar reserves — which is plain highway robbery — to an altogether new sublime level of “weaponization of atom.”

Iran has suffered immensely from the US’ weaponization of the dollar. Ever since its 1979 revolution, Iran has been under western sanctions aimed at stifling its growth and development — many of them cruel and humiliating. These hit a nadir, when at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the US even blocked Iran’s pathway to procure vaccines for its citizens.

So many such horrific episodes can be dredged up from Iran’s four-decade-long painful history as a victim of America’s “weaponization of dollar,” whereby, an immensely resource-rich country was forced to live far below its real potential, and one of the world’s greatest and oldest civilizations suffered humiliations at the hands of an uppity country with some 246 years of history.

It must then be tormenting for Washington that Iran is one of the countries that has immense potential to resort to “weaponization of atom” to counter America’s “weaponization of dollar.”

Whether it will do or not is a moot point. Certainly, Iran’s stated preference is to live without nuclear weapons. That is why it has come fully prepared to close the deal at the negotiations in Vienna. Iran’s foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian even told EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Friday that he’s “ready to fly to Vienna” to sign the nuclear deal on Monday.

But the point is, if Iran wishes, it has the capability to meet the US on equal terms even without a nuclear deal in Vienna. In fact, if Biden refuses to provide Russia with a written guarantee to suspend the “sanctions from hell,” that deal may not go through in Vienna, since Russia, as an original signatory to the JCPOA, must sign off on it. Of course, the Americans are insisting that they will continue to work with Russia at Vienna within the matrix of their shared interest to prevent Iran from producing nuclear weapons.

Indeed, as it is, the remaining three demands by Iran also pose a big challenge to Biden. Lifting the ban on the IRGC is a bitter pill for the Washington elite to swallow; again, Biden is in no position to guarantee that a deal signed in Vienna will have any shelf life beyond his presidency.

Herein lies the catch. Until such time as an agreement is reached in Vienna, Iran’s centrifuges will be producing enriched uranium, which would mean that the so-called “breakout time” keeps shrinking and for all purposes, at some point, Iran will have transformed itself as a virtual nuclear weapon state whether it wants or not — and the very purpose of the deal that the US is frantically seeking at Vienna will be defeated.

For Iran too, this is a moment of truth. Things have come to such a pass in international politics that many countries, which willingly signed the NPT, probably regret their decision now. India, Pakistan and North Korea already broke the NPT shackle. The point is, in the final analysis, a nuclear weapon is the means to preserve a country’s strategic autonomy to pursue independent policies.

It provides a firewall against foreign interference in the internal affairs; it reduces the scope for Washington’s coup machine to overthrow the established government; it compels the US to abandon the highly immoral, cynical bullying via “weaponization of the dollar;” and, above all, it enhances plurality in the world order by strengthening a country’s freedom to choose its own unique path of development.

“Atoms for Peace” was the title of a famous speech delivered by US President Dwight Eisenhower to the UN General Assembly in New York City in 1953. In retrospect, it turned out to be a propaganda component of the US’ Cold War strategy of containing the former Soviet Union.

Eisenhower was launching a media campaign that would last for years aimed at “emotion management,” balancing fears of continuing nuclear armament with promises of peaceful use of uranium in future nuclear reactors.

Ironically, that catchy phrase acquires today an altogether new meaning: Atoms may offer the best means to an equitable world order.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

Raisi to Putin: Expansion of NATO Serious Threat against Security of Independent Countries

February 25, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

Iranian President Sayyed Ebrahim Raisi said the continued expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO] threatens stability and security of independent countries.

Raisi made the remarks in a late Thursday phone call with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, during which the two sides discussed major international developments as well as the ongoing negotiations in the Austrian capital for the revival of the 2015 landmark Iran deal.

In his conversation with the Purin, Raisi said, “The eastward expansion of NATO is a source of tension.”

“The continued expansion of NATO is a serious threat against the stability and security of independent countries in various regions” of the world,” the Iranian president said.

Raisi further expressed hope that what is going on in Ukraine would finally benefit the nations and the entire region.

The phone call came amid Russia’s military operation in the eastern parts of Ukraine, which started after Putin said he had ordered the Russian Federation’s military to carry out a “special military operation” in the Donbass region.

Putin’s order came after the leaders of the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk in the Donbass region asked the Kremlin for military assistance in response to what they called “Ukrainian aggression.”

In 2014, Ukraine’s two regions of Donetsk and Lugansk were turned into self-proclaimed republics by ethnic Russians, leading to a bloody conflict between the government forces and the armed separatists.

On Monday, Putin signed a decree recognizing the breakaway Lugansk and Donetsk regions as independent republics. The recognition followed an address in which he referred to eastern Ukraine as “ancient Russian lands” being “managed by foreign powers.”

During the phone conversation, Putin said what is happening in Ukraine is “a legitimate response” to several decades of violation of security agreements by the West and its efforts to undermine his country’s security.

Referring to Iran’s active role in the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA], he emphasized the need to continue consultations between the two sides with regard to the ongoing Vienna talks.

Rules for the World

February 07, 2022

Source

BACKGROUND

On February 4, 2022, on the occasion of the opening of the XXIV Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, the presidents of China and Russia issued a document entitled:

Joint Statement of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China on the International Relations Entering a New Era and the Global Sustainable Development

This document sets a new level in the cooperation between the two countries in foreign policy and is their exposition of a common viewpoint for setting out the rules that the world should follow in politics among nations. A key section up front contains the following: “The sides call on all States…to protect the United Nations-driven international architecture and the international law-based world order, seek genuine multipolarity with the United Nations and its Security Council playing a central and coordinating role….”

The reliance on the United Nations (UN) as the major guiding rulemaker is an important point. A major question concerning this reliance is the extent to which the design of the UN matches the current reality of the world distribution of wealth and power. The UN was set up in 1945 according to a design that reflected the post-WWII distribution of economic output and advanced weapon systems. Overall, it was based on the outcome of that war, with the winners getting the spoils and the losers getting the left-overs. After some seventy-seven years, the situation has radically changed. According to the CIA Fact Book, China now has a larger economy than the US, India is independent and has the third largest economy, and India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea have become nuclear powers. Japan and Germany each have larger populations and economies than either Britain or France. And yet, the permanent members of the UN Security Council with veto rights are the same nations that were made members in 1945. This is not a recipe for sustainable development of UN-based rules for a peaceable world.

Of course, there have been many calls for reform of the UN ever since it was founded. A quick search for “reform of the united nations” turns up a cornucopia of websites dealing with the topic. Everything from Wikipedia, various think-tanks, to the United Nations University has articles on the subject. They point out in great detail the many reforms proposed and the far fewer reforms completed over the seventy-seven years. All of them, however, tend to point out the immense difficulty in getting any agreement on any changes to the Security Council.

UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL ACTIONS

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) regularly concerns itself with various controversies around the world and adopts measures intended to ameliorate difficult situations. However, there appears to be a lack of foresight in considering how the measures might be lifted when no longer needed or appropriate. For example, the UNSC placed sanctions on North Korea over the nuclear proliferation issue, but now Russia and China would like to have the sanctions lifted, but this is blocked by the United States (US). The UNSC also placed sanctions on Iran, some of which have now expired, but which seemed mostly to support the US interests. With the benefit of hindsight, it would appear that Russia and China may have done better simply to have informal agreements with the other permanent members of the UNSC to institute sanctions and other measures when useful, thus leaving the two countries free to change tactics when the measures were no longer useful from their viewpoint. This is especially true since both Russia and China are claiming to uphold the UN as the proper international body for making rules and would suffer great loss of face if they broke one of the UN rules. The same is not true for the US since it is quite adept at following the “international rules-based order” that it conveniently makes up as it goes along. The US claims to follow a higher order that is based on democracy and humanitarian issues. Perhaps Russia and China knew what they were doing at the time, but it would be helpful to have an expert analysis of how they plan to avoid being trapped like this in the future.

UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATION

Permanent membership in the Security Council is a bone of contention that will likely get worse as the years go by since some major countries are excluded, while some less prominent countries are included. If China can be a member, then it will be more and more difficult to explain why India is not a member. If Russia is a member, it still will be a question as to why Japan is not. Having permanent members confined to the countries on the winning side in WWII will not be an adequate answer three-quarters of a century later and in light of all the changes that have transpired since the war. If Britain and France are members, why not Germany and Brazil? Is the criteria the possession of nuclear weapons, or the size of the economy, or the land area, or the population? Now that India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea have nuclear weapons, should they become permanent members? Russia and China are again in an awkward position claiming the UN as the organizing force in the world, when the UN is obviously not structured to match the actual makeup of the world. In addition, the UN headquarters was located in the US, reportedly because that was an inducement for the US to join the organization. The fact that New York was undamaged by WWII and transportation was by steamship made it a logical choice at the time. Now, however, travel is by air and there are many locations with good facilities and transport options. In addition, the US places travel restrictions on diplomats trying to attend UN meetings in New York, and the UN employees also are subject to US rules. Consequently, it would appear that a proper world management organization should be located in a small neutral country that possesses modern facilities and means of communication, and excellent air travel options to all other countries. Another example of stress is the continuing issue of the Palestinians and the votes in the UN General Assembly on this topic. The votes overwhelmingly go against the US position and yet next to nothing seems to ever be done. There is no doubt that “safety in numbers” is a factor here—the US cannot sanction nearly 200 countries because they vote the “wrong way” at the same time. In any event, the current UN setup is likely to experience continuing severe stress and instability in the coming years, unless these issues and likely others are addressed. Some solutions could be helpful here also, since it bears directly on the Russian and Chinese positions concerning who makes the rules for the world.

INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Another factor that China and Russia need to address is the question of independence, neutrality, and impartiality of the various international organizations that promote and enforce international rules. Several news reports and allegations have arisen concerning the activities of three such organizations: Interpol, OPCW, and IAEA. Interpol (International Criminal Police Organization) is the subject of controversy because a general from the UAE was just selected as President despite vigorous opposition due to his qualifications and background. The OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) is in the news with complaints over its investigations of chemical weapons in Syria. Whistleblowers have come forth with damaging accusations about the organization’s activities and its alleged bias. The IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) is in a difficult position in checking up on Iran’s nuclear activities while not being able to check up on other West Asian countries’ nuclear activities. The Director just called for a change in the rules so that the IAEA could check up on Israel’s nuclear activities. Many analysts suggest that there exists an undue influence on these organizations by the US, which prevents them from impartial operation. Consequently, if the world is to move forward in a rules-based order using rules made by the UN and the affiliated international organizations, then China and Russia will need to exert more effort to ensure impartiality and more universal coverage of said rules. This issue also applies to “international law” as it appears in court cases such as at the International Criminal Court (ICC), and in the various treaties such as the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). This is especially pertinent now that the US has announced that it will move from containment of China to competition with China. The competition appears to be focused on the US and its allies in the West attempting to have more influence over the system of international rules than China. The European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy essentially admitted that basis for competition when he stated in essence: He who sets the standards, rules the world.

REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

The Joint Statement places a lot of emphasis on the various regional organizations that China and/or Russia belong to. There is a favorable reference to the grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China, & South Africa (BRICS), although political changes in the constituent countries have made it less coherent. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is Asian-based, as are several others, including the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The document contains many proposals for widening the involvement of these organizations in the many pressing issues confronting Asia. A reading between the lines suggests that China and Russia plan to go ahead with getting a more robust set of rules for Asia, even if there is less prospect currently for agreements on world-wide rules.

CONCLUSION

China and Russia have issued a very long and very detailed statement of their goals for the future. They specifically mention many international organizations and agreements, and provide concrete details about what they support and what they would like changed. It is much more than a listing of political pious platitudes. Nevertheless, it reads in large part like a political campaign statement for their domestic audiences and marching orders for their officials and bureaucrats. It is, therefore, likely to be disappointing to those analysts who had perhaps expected something more concerning rules for the world. The statements about relying on the UN and international law are fine as aspirations, but lack any specific proposals as to how to turn sentiment into reality. For the past seventy-seven years, the UN has been under the major influence of the US and international law has been under the influence of the rules-based order designed by the US. The Joint Statement does not directly provide clues about how China and Russia propose to deal with this situation during the next seventy-seven years.

Sanctions against Iran Sign of US’ Imprudence, Weakness: AEOI Chief

 February 7, 2022

Mohammad Eslami, new head of Iran’s nuclear agency (AEOI) talks on stage at the International Atomic Energy’s (IAEA) General Conference in Vienna, Austria, Monday, Sept. 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Lisa Leutner)

Head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Mohammad Eslami said that US sanctions against the Islamic Republic and its peaceful nuclear program show its imprudence and weakness in foreign policy.

Eslami hailed Iranian scientists and their efforts for the development of Iran in a note posted on social media on Monday, Mehr news agency repored.

Referring to the Atomic Energy Organization’s activities in the production of radiopharmaceuticals, he said, “One of the most important parts of the industry is the production of diagnostic and therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals.”

“Nuclear medicine is one of the main examples of the use of nuclear energy and nuclear knowledge, which, thanks to the efforts of Iranian experts, the country now does not need any imports in this field,” he added.

With the production of more than fifty types of radiopharmaceutical products in line with the world’s standards, Iran is ranked first in the region in the field of radiopharmaceuticals and nuclear medicine, the AEOI chief noted.

He also pointed to the oppressive sanctions from some countries around the world on Iran’s peaceful nuclear energy, saying that the US sanctions against Iran and its peaceful nuclear program show its imprudence and weakness in foreign policy.

Source: Iranian media

Raeisi: Iran, Russia Reached ‘Fundamental Agreements’ on Expanding Ties

Jan 21 2022

President Ebrahim Raisi has said that Iran and Russia reached “fundamental agreements” on expanding all-out bilateral relations to secure mutual interests.

“Undoubtedly, the development of relations with Russia will contribute to the security and prosperity of the two nations. Certainly, such security-building cooperation will be for the sake of the region,” Raisi said after arriving in Tehran from Moscow around midnight.

He said that during his Russia trip, which began on Wednesday, the two sides discussed steps to challenge the dominance of the US dollar and continue trade in their national currencies.

“Our oil minister had good agreements with Russian energy officials, the effects of which will emerge later,” he said, adding that good agreements were also reached on removing obstacles to boosting trade relations.

However, the level of trade relations is “not acceptable”, the president stated.

Officials have said the two sides seek to increase the current record $3 billion bilateral trade.

“We decided to increase the level of trade between the two countries to $10 billion in the first stage,” President Raisi said.

“In the field of agriculture, there were also good discussions that would lead to real exchanges of agricultural products,” he said.

In the field of transportation, the two sides decided to advance the North-South corridor which will facilitate transportation and greatly reduce transportation time, the president added.

In 2002, Russia, Iran, and India signed an agreement for the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), a 7,200 km multi-mode network of ship, rail, and road route for moving freight between India, Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Russia, Central Asia and Europe.

The INSTC is seen a game-changer that will shorten the distance and lower the cost of transportation from South Asia to Europe through Iran and Russia and potentially serve as an alternative to the Suez Canal for East-West trade.

Tehran and Moscow also reached agreements to expand their cooperation in the industry, defense, and aerospace sectors, President Raisi said.

On the first day of his two-day trip, which he described as a “turning point” in Iran-Russia relations, Raisi had a three-hour meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, during which the Iranian president said the Islamic Republic seeks to forge strategic relations with Moscow.

Later on Wednesday, he met with Iranians residing in Russia. On Thursday, Raisi addressed the State Duma and attended the prayers at the Moscow Grand Mosque at the invitation of Rawil Gaynutdin, chairman of the Russian Mufti Council.

‘US must be held accountable for General Suleimani assassination’

Speaking with Russia’s RT television in an exclusive interview, Raisi said the US must be held accountable for the assassination of Iran’s top anti-terror commander, Lt. Gen. Qassem Suleimani, in Iraq two years ago.

“Qassem Suleimani belonged not only to the people of Iran, but also to the Muslim community. He came to save people’s lives. He made efforts in this direction, and all people, both Muslims and non-Muslims of course, have great respect for his work,” he said.

He said people respected Gen. Suleimani because they knew he managed to save people’s lives from Daesh and other terrorist groups.

“He was able to protect and save people’s lives. Therefore, his presence in Syria and Iraq in the region was aimed at fighting terrorism,” he said.

“Therefore, Qassem Suleimani is a hero and the Americans must give answers,” Raisi said. “They say they are flag-bearers in the fight against terrorism, but why was the hero of the fight against terrorism killed?”

He pointed out that the Americans committed such a great crime and openly confessed to their crime.

“The one who commits such a great crime and confesses to it naturally should be punished in a qualified court,” the president asserted.

“The promise to protect the oppressed and punish the oppressors is, of course, a sincere promise and it will certainly be kept.”

US refusal to abide by JCPOA

Elsewhere in the interview, President Raisi said Iran takes the Vienna negotiations on restoring the 2015 agreement “very seriously”. He made clear that the hurdle to restoring the pact remains Washington’s refusal to abide by its terms.

“What we have seen so far is a violation of obligations on the part of the Americans,” he said, referring to the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2018 and its subsequent sanctions on Tehran in violation of the deal.

The Iranian president noted that the European parties to the treaty – France, Germany and the UK – have “also failed to fulfill their obligations” under the JCPOA through “the lack of new appropriate measures” to deal with the US violation.

“The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stated 15 times that Iran had fulfilled its obligations, that Iran was committed to its obligations,” Raisi stated. “So, we have fulfilled our obligations, but they have violated theirs. They must fulfill their obligations. We didn’t break anything.”

“If the parties are ready to remove sanctions, the ground for reaching an agreement on nuclear issues is absolutely ready,” he added.

Source: Al-Manar English Website and Iranian media

Western officials in a hurry to wrap up Vienna talks with Iran: Report

December 02 2021

ByNews Desk

Iran’s negotiators say they are ready to continue intensive talks and are not beholden to “artificial deadlines or time tables”

On the third day of long-awaited Vienna nuclear talks, European representatives reportedly urged an “immediate conclusion” to this round of negotiations.

According to Iranian media reports on 1 December, this call by several of the signatories of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is due to their “insistence” to receive case-by-case directives from the US, which continues to disrupt and prolong discussions.

Despite this apparent snag, the Islamic Republic’s delegation has maintained they are ready to engage in talks for “as long as needed.”

“The Islamic Republic has come to Vienna with full seriousness and is negotiating with transparent demands and proposals,” a senior member of Iran’s negotiating team told Press TV on 1 December.

“[Iran] stands prepared to continue intensive talks as long as needed, [but] it will not be ready to sacrifice its principled demands and the Iranian nation’s rights for mere artificial deadlines or time tables,” the unnamed source went on to add.

Israeli media have quoted Biden administration officials as saying that they expect to wrap the talks up “on Thursday or Friday.”

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian took to Twitter to say that talks are continuing and that a good deal is “within reach if the west shows good will.”

Officials from Iran and the P4+1 group of countries — Britain, France, Russia, and China plus Germany — arrived in the Austrian capital on 29 November to negotiate the removal of unilateral US sanctions placed on Iran.

US officials are also present in Vienna but are not taking part in the talks directly.

Regarding the possibility of an agreement during this round of negotiations, Russia’s Permanent Representative to International Organizations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, told reporters on Wednesday that he sees “a real chance” for an agreement despite the difficulties and serious disagreements between Iran and the US.

“The situation is very difficult, and it is clear that there are a lot of differences between the Americans and the Iranians,” Ulyanov said. “Both in previous rounds of negotiations and in the current round.”

“Nevertheless, we think there is still a real chance to resolve all issues through diplomacy and negotiation,” he continued.

The Russian diplomat went on to explain that most of these differences stem from Iran’s ongoing work on its nuclear energy program, which was done “not out of malice, but in response to the irresponsible policy of maximum US pressure in the form of extraterritorial sanctions.”

“The Americans must first lift the sanctions, and Iran must align its nuclear program with the provisions of the IAEA Board,” Ulyanov added.

Amid all these developments, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh has accused Israel of trying to “poison” the negotiation process, tweeting that: “All parties in the room now face a test of their independence & political will to carry out the job — irrespective of the fake news designed to destroy prospects for success.”

This comes in response to several media reports saying Israel has shared intelligence over the past two weeks with the US and several European allies alleging that “Iran was taking technical steps to prepare to enrich uranium to 90 percent purity, the level needed for a nuclear weapon.”

Raisi to Macron: Negotiations must End in Removal of Sanctions

Nov 30, 2021

By Staff, Agencies

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi assured his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, that Tehran seeks a definitive result through the ongoing talks in the Austrian capital, emphasizing that Vienna negotiations must end in removal of sanctions imposed on Iran.

Raisi made the remarks in a Monday phone call initiated by Macron, which lasted for one and a half hours, during which the two sides discussed the current state of Vienna talks on removal of anti-Iran sanctions and other issues of mutual interest.

“Sanctions have failed to stymie Iran’s progress and today, the entire world knows who violated the JCPOA, and they must return to their commitments,” Iran’s president said, using an acronym for Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA].

He further stated: “The current conditions are the result of Americans and Europeans not fulfilling their commitments as per the JCPOA.”

Raisi added that those parties who violated the JCPOA must gain the opposite side’s trust so that negotiations could proceed in a real manner and bear fruit.

“If Americans remove sanctions and Europeans fulfill their commitments, you should have no concern about Iran fulfilling its commitments, because we have shown time and again and in practice that we abide by our obligations,” Iran’s president said.

In parallel, Raisi reiterated that “Iran seeks [a definitive] result in [Vienna] talks and negotiations must end in removal of sanctions.”

Iran’s president then told Macron that if they believe in the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] as an international authority, they should note that “the agency has frequently announced that the Islamic Republic of Iran is committed to its nuclear obligations.”

He added that during his recent visit to Iran, Director General of the IAEA Rafael Grossi said nothing about Iran not being in compliance with its obligations, adding, “We are now ready to continue full cooperation with the Agency.”

“Iran has always lived up to its nuclear commitments and the International Atomic Energy Agency has confirmed Iran’s commitment [to its obligations] on many occasions,” Raisi said, adding that dispatching a comprehensive team to Vienna talks indicates Iran’s serious determination in those negotiations.

He also urged Macron to work with other participants in Vienna talks to secure removal of sanctions imposed on Iran.

Macron, for his part, condemned unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the JCPOA, saying that Paris considers the nuclear deal a common responsibility for its members.

Macron added that he has talked to US President Joe Biden and that Paris is bent on going on with the negotiations until a final result is reached.

The French president’s phone call came after the end of the first meeting of the seventh round of Vienna talks earlier the same day during which, according to Iran’s top negotiator, Ali Baqeri-Kani, all participants in the first meeting of the seventh round of talks have agreed that removing sanctions must be the main focus of negotiations.

Iran’s negotiator said all parties agreed that focus of the talks should be removal of sanctions imposed on Iran after the US’ unilateral withdrawal from the landmark 2015 nuclear deal.

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Iran Seeks Full, Verifiable Removal of All Sanctions through Vienna Talks – Top Negotiator

Nov 29, 2021

By Staff, Agencies

Iran’s top negotiator in the forthcoming talks in the Austrian capital on the removal of illegal sanctions imposed on the country Ali Baqeri-Kani said Tehran’s main goal is to secure a full and verifiable removal of all sanctions through the Vienna negotiations.

Baqeri-Kani’s remarks were made in an article published by the Financial Times on Sunday in which he slammed Western countries, especially the United States, for using talks as a tool to restrict Iran’s peaceful nuclear program.

“Western countries, in particular the US, work tirelessly to portray ‘negotiations’ as merely a process to restrict Iran’s legitimate and peaceful nuclear program, which is enshrined in international treaties and watched by oversight organizations,” he said.

The Iranian negotiator then emphasized that the Islamic Republic, however, seeks to achieve two goals through engaging in Vienna talks.

“In this vein, we have two goals: the first is to gain a full, guaranteed and verifiable removal of the sanctions that have been imposed on the Iranian people. Without this, the process will continue indefinitely,” Baqeri-Kani said.

He then noted that Iran’s second goal is “to facilitate the legal rights of the Iranian nation to benefit from peaceful nuclear knowledge, especially the all-important enrichment technology for industrial purposes, according to the terms of the international Non-Proliferation Treaty [NPT].”

Baqeri-Kani left Tehran for Vienna on Saturday to attend the seventh round of talks that are intended to bring the US back to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA], commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal.

A return to the JCPOA would mean Washington needs to remove its unlawful sanctions on Tehran, three years after the US left the 2015 accord and unleashed a “maximum pressure” campaign on the Islamic Republic.

The US withdrawal came while the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] had issued 15 consecutive reports certifying Iran’s full compliance with its nuclear obligations under the JCPOA.

The Islamic Republic’s unwavering position on the verifiable removal of US sanctions, observers say, stems from the fact that the US started to impose new rounds of sanctions on Iran merely a day after the JCPOA’s implementation date.

It also took the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control [OFAC] seven months to grant Airbus and Boeing partial permission to sell planes to Iran. Even then, Iran received only three out of 117 Airbus passenger aircraft it ordered and none from Boeing.

The significant noncompliance of the other parties, in particular the US, prompted Iran to invoke the “dispute resolution mechanism” several times both before and after the US withdrawal from the nuclear pact.

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Iran FM: Contradictory US Behavior Presents Major Obstacle in Vienna Talks

Nov, 24, 2021

By Staff, Agencies

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian says the United States claims it is willing to return to the 2015 nuclear deal but simultaneously expands sanctions, warning that Washington’s “contradictory behavior” presents one of the obstacles in the Vienna talks aimed at putting the accord back on track.

In a telephone conversation with his Swiss counterpart, Ignazio Cassis, on Tuesday, Amir Abdollahian said Iran was “ready and serious to reach a good and immediate agreement” in the talks that would start in Vienna, Austria on November 29, “but at the same time it is distrustful of US behavior.”

“On the one hand, the US pretends to be interested in returning to the JCPOA, but on the other, it has imposed sanctions on Iranian individuals and companies in two stages over the past few weeks. America’s contradictory behavior is one of the main obstacles to the negotiations,” he added, referring to nuclear deal by the acronym of its official name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The top Iranian diplomat also emphasized that the Islamic Republic would judge the US based on its behavior.

Envoys from Iran and the P4+1 group of countries – Britain, France, Russia, and China plus Germany – are expected to hold the seventh round of discussions in Vienna on November 29.

The negotiations were paused in June, when Iran held a presidential election. Since then, the new Iranian administration has been reviewing the details of the six rounds of talks held under the previous administration.

Former US president Donald Trump left the JCPOA in May 2018 and re-imposed the anti-Iran sanctions that the deal had lifted. He also placed additional sanctions on Iran under other pretexts not related to the nuclear case as part of his “maximum pressure” campaign.

Following a year of strategic patience, Iran resorted to its legal rights under the JCPOA, which grants a party the right to suspend its contractual commitments in case of non-compliance by other signatories, and let go of some of the restrictions imposed on its nuclear energy program.

The US administration of President Joe Biden has said it is willing to compensate for Trump’s mistake and rejoin the deal, but it has shown an overriding propensity for maintaining some of the sanctions as a tool of pressure.

Tehran insists that all sanctions must first be removed in a verifiable manner before it reverses its remedial measures.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Amir Abdollahian said that Tehran-Bern relations were on the right track and that a recent visit by Switzerland’s President of the National Council Andreas Aebi to Iran marked a turning point in bilateral parliamentary ties.

Referring to the efforts underway to resolve problems on the way of the activities of Swiss companies in Iran, he stressed the need to boost relations between the two countries in various sectors, including science, education, agriculture, transportation, health and banking.

The Swiss foreign minister, for his part, pointed to the importance of relations with Iran and explained the status of a trade channel between the two states.

The two chief diplomats also discussed the crisis in Afghanistan

Amir Abdollahian said Iran continued to encourage the ruling administration in Afghanistan to form an inclusive government, expressing concern over the humanitarian situation in the South Asian country amid the winter season.

His Swiss counterpart also announced his country’s readiness to cooperate in the transfer of aid to Afghanistan through Iran.

Bern agrees with Tehran on the need to form an inclusive government in Afghanistan, he said, praising Tehran for attempting to find a diplomatic solution to the Afghan crisis as well as hosting refugees.

Additionally on Tuesday, Amir Abdollahian met with Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA].

During the meeting, the Iranian foreign minister urged the UN nuclear watchdog to keep cooperating with the Islamic Republic within the framework of its technical duties and avoid taking political positions.

Grossi, for his part, said he stands ready to resolve the remaining technical issues between the IAEA and Iran with goodwill and close cooperation in the shortest possible time.

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