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The Cradle
Iran disconnects several UN cameras after questioning ‘politically compromised’ IAEA
Officials have made it clear that any IAEA resolution issued against Iran will severely hinder the Vienna talks and any cooperation with the UN agency
By News Desk - June 08 2022
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IAEA chief Rafael Grossi holds a surveillance camera. (Photo credit: Reuters)

The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) announced on 8 June that officials have shut down several CCTV cameras belonging to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The disconnected cameras were installed in Iran’s nuclear sites as a measure beyond the safeguards agreement reached with the IAEA.

“Iran has so far had extensive cooperation with the IAEA, but unfortunately, the IAEA, without consideration that this cooperation is due to the goodwill of Iran, not only did not appreciate it but also considered it Iran’s duty,” the AEOI statement reads.

“For this reason,” the statement went to say, “the decision was made to stop the operation of the [Online Enrichment Monitor] enrichment surface line metering camera and the IAEA flow meter from today, which was ordered by the relevant authorities.”

However, the AEOI highlighted that 80 percent of the IAEA surveillance cameras are within Iran’s obligations under the safeguards agreement, and that they will continue operating.

This decision comes just two days after AEOI chief Mohammad Eslami questioned whether the UN nuclear watchdog is politically compromised.

“How is it possible that confidential reports of an international organization are published in the media even before the official recipients read them?” he said in reference to IAEA reports detailing Iran’s nuclear program which are regularly leaked to western media.

The latest reports revealed that the UN agency is not satisfied with answers that Tehran has provided to the probes in three nuclear sites: Turquzabad, Varamin and Marivan.

In response, Eslami said that Iran has provided accurate answers, and that the IAEA has so far refused to declare Iran’s answers as convincing.

The AEOI chief added that the focus of the UN agency on Iran is discriminatory, as Iran’s global nuclear activity is a comparatively small amount, but has to submit over a quarter of all IAEA monitoring activity, which adds up to hundreds of inspections a year.

Eslami also condemned a recent visit to Israel by IAEA chief Rafael Grossi, questioning if the UN is even allowed to carry out nuclear inspections in Israel.

Ahead of the IAEA Board of Governors meeting this week, Grossi visited Israel and not Iran, which some view as a sign that the Agency was preparing to escalate its position towards the Islamic Republic.

A statement released by the Israeli prime minister’s office following this meeting said the PM warned the IAEA chief of the “urgent need” to confront Iran’s nuclear energy program.

Amid this diplomatic spat, the Chairman of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, Vahid Jalalzadeh, said that if the IAEA approves a resolution against Iran, the country will reconsider its presence in the Vienna talks with western powers.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh has also warned that any resolution against Tehran will negatively affect the country’s cooperation with the IAEA.

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.

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