Saudi Arabia calls on Iran to fully comply with IAEA

Saudi Arabia calls on Iran to fully comply with IAEA
Saudi Arabia called on Iran to fully comply with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s safeguard agreements under the 2015 nuclear deal. (File/AFP)
Short Url
Updated 15 September 2021

Saudi Arabia calls on Iran to fully comply with IAEA

Saudi Arabia calls on Iran to fully comply with IAEA
  • “Iran’s nuclear blackmail must be stopped”: Prince Abdullah bin Khaled bin Sultan
  • He said that Tehran continues to transfer nuclear materials to undeclared locations

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia called on Iran to fully comply with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s safeguard agreements under the 2015 nuclear deal.
“Only the IAEA safeguards regime can sufficiently verify Iran’s nuclear commitments,” Prince Abdullah bin Khaled bin Sultan, the Kingdom’s representative to the agency, said.
Iran has repeatedly lacked transparency and procrastinated in cooperating with the IAEA and “the world at large lacks the necessary assurances regarding its nuclear program,” he added.
“Iran’s nuclear blackmail must be stopped.”
The IAEA’s Board of Governors has serious concern over Iran’s continued flouting of the agency’s safeguards, Prince Abdullah said.
He said that Tehran continues to transfer nuclear materials to undeclared locations and repeatedly fails to respond to the IAEA’s questions with credible answers.
“Unless its belligerent intentions are firmly contained, Tehran’s recklessness risks proliferation in the region, leading to global instability. The entire safeguards system is at stake. Only firm positions taken by the Board of Governors can save it,” the envoy said. 
Also on Wednesday, the UN nuclear watchdog slammed as “unacceptable” incidents involving its inspectors in Iran following a news report that Iranian guards had harassed female agency staff.
“The agency immediately and firmly raised this issue with Iran to explain in very clear and unequivocal terms that such security-related incidents involving agency staff are unacceptable and must not happen again,” the IAEA said.


UN Security Council calls on Lebanon’s new government to enact swift reforms

UN Security Council calls on Lebanon’s new government to enact swift reforms
Updated 7 sec ago

UN Security Council calls on Lebanon’s new government to enact swift reforms

UN Security Council calls on Lebanon’s new government to enact swift reforms

LONDON: The UN Security Council on Monday welcomed the formation of a new government in Lebanon.

The administration led by Prime Minister Najib Mikati was announced earlier this month after more than a year of political stalemate.

In that time, Lebanon has plunged deeper into economic collapse with widespread blackouts and fuel shortages.

The Security Council statement “urged Lebanon’s new government to swiftly and transparently implement the well‑known, necessary and tangible reforms.” 

The changes are needed to deal with “the urgent security, economic, social and humanitarian challenges facing the country,” the statement said.

The council said it was important to hold free, fair and inclusive elections next year and an independent transparent investigation into the Beirut port explosions that decimated the city last year.


Jordan’s Crown Prince Hussein contracts COVID-19

Jordan’s Crown Prince Hussein contracts COVID-19
Updated 27 September 2021

Jordan’s Crown Prince Hussein contracts COVID-19

Jordan’s Crown Prince Hussein contracts COVID-19
  • King Abdullah II and Queen Rania will self isolate for five days
  • Crown prince showing only mild symptoms

AMMAN: Jordan's Crown Prince Hussein has tested positive for COVID-19, the Jordanian Royal Court said Monday, requiring the king and the queen to self-isolate.

The Royal Court said Prince Hussein bin Abdullah tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday evening after undergoing a routine examination.

The statement said the prince showed only mild symptoms and remains in "very good health."

The Royal Court added that King Abdullah II and Queen Rania both tested negative on Monday and will self-isolate for five days.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Jordan has remained steady over the last few months and  nearly all containment measures have been lifted, including a curfew.

The kingdom on Monday registered 17 new COVID-19 deaths and 1,015 virus cases, increasing the overall number to have contracted the disease to 820,798 and the death toll to 10,697.


At UN, Israeli PM Bennett says Iran has crossed nuclear ‘red lines’

At UN, Israeli PM Bennett says Iran has crossed nuclear ‘red lines’
Updated 27 September 2021

At UN, Israeli PM Bennett says Iran has crossed nuclear ‘red lines’

At UN, Israeli PM Bennett says Iran has crossed nuclear ‘red lines’

NEW YORK: Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Monday that Iran had crossed “all red lines” in its nuclear program and vowed that Israel would not allow Tehran to acquire a nuclear weapon.
In his first speech before the United Nations General Assembly, Bennett said Iran sought to dominate the Middle East under a “nuclear umbrella” and urged a more concerted international effort to halt Iran’s nuclear activities.
But he also hinted at the potential for Israel to act on its own against Iran, something it has repeatedly threatened in the past.
“Iran’s nuclear program has hit a watershed moment, and so has our tolerance,” Bennett said. “Words do not stop centrifuges from spinning.”
Bennett, a far-right politician who ended Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year run as prime minister in June, wants US President Joe Biden to harden his stance against Iran, Israel’s regional arch-foe. He opposes the new US administration’s efforts to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that Biden’s White House predecessor, Donald Trump, abandoned in 2018.
Indirect US-Iran talks in Vienna have stalled as Washington awaits the next move by Iran’s new hard-line president, Ebrahim Raisi.
Bennett struck a less combative tone before the United Nations than Netanyahu, who often relied on props and visual aids to dramatize his accusations against Iran, an approach that critics derided as political stunts.
But Bennett has been just as adamant as Netanyahu was in pledging to do whatever is necessary to prevent Iran, which Israel views as an existential threat, from building a nuclear weapon. Iran consistently denies it is seeking a bomb.
“Iran’s nuclear weapons program is at a critical point. All red lines have been crossed, inspections ignored,” Bennett said. “They’re getting away with it.”


Iran says UN nuclear watchdog’s claim ‘not accurate’

Iran says UN nuclear watchdog’s claim ‘not accurate’
Updated 27 September 2021

Iran says UN nuclear watchdog’s claim ‘not accurate’

Iran says UN nuclear watchdog’s claim ‘not accurate’
  • Iran’s ambassador to the IAEA Kazem Gharibabadi on Monday rejected the charge on Twitter

TEHRAN: Iran on Monday rejected a complaint by the UN nuclear watchdog that it was blocked from a nuclear site, arguing that the facility was exempt from a recent agreement.
The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Sunday it had been denied “indispensable” access to the TESA Karaj centrifuge component manufacturing workshop near Tehran contrary to a September 12 agreement with Iran.
Iran’s ambassador to the IAEA Kazem Gharibabadi on Monday rejected the charge on Twitter.
“During the discussions in Tehran and Vienna, Iran indicated that... equipment related to this Complex are not included for servicing,” he wrote, referring to IAEA work on its surveillance equipment.
Sunday’s IAEA statement “isn’t accurate and goes beyond the agreed terms,” he added.
This month’s agreement between the IAEA and Iran came days after the nuclear watchdog had decried a lack of cooperation from Tehran.
Agency inspectors had been allowed to service monitoring and surveillance equipment and to replace storage media at “all necessary locations” except the TESA Karaj workshop, the IAEA said on Sunday.
IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi in his latest report on Iran informed member states that the Islamic republic had granted all other access from September 20-22.
The IAEA’s latest report comes amid stalled negotiations to revive a 2015 landmark agreement scaling back Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
That deal started to fall apart in 2018 when the US withdrew from it and reinstated sanctions. Iran in turn again started to ramp up its nuclear activities.
Talks began in April in Vienna between Tehran and the remaining five parties to the 2015 deal aimed at bringing Washington back into the agreement.
But that dialogue has been stalled since June, when ultraconservative Ebrahim Raisi won Iran’s presidential election.
Iran’s foreign minister said Friday that talks would restart “very soon,” but the US has called for a clear timetable.


US to Iran: Grant inspectors access to workshop or face action at UN nuclear watchdog

US to Iran: Grant inspectors access to workshop or face action at UN nuclear watchdog
Updated 27 September 2021

US to Iran: Grant inspectors access to workshop or face action at UN nuclear watchdog

US to Iran: Grant inspectors access to workshop or face action at UN nuclear watchdog
  • Workshop at the TESA Karaj complex makes components for centrifuges, machines that enrich uranium

VIENNA: Iran must stop denying the UN nuclear watchdog access to a workshop making centrifuge parts as agreed two weeks ago or face diplomatic retaliation at the agency’s Board of Governors within days, the United States said on Monday.
The workshop at the TESA Karaj complex makes components for centrifuges, machines that enrich uranium, and was hit by apparent sabotage in June in which one of four International Atomic Energy Agency cameras there was destroyed. Iran removed them and the destroyed camera’s footage is missing.
TESA Karaj was one of several sites to which Iran agreed to grant IAEA inspectors access to service IAEA monitoring equipment and replace memory cards just as they were due to fill up with data such as camera footage. The Sept. 12 accord helped avoid a diplomatic escalation between Iran and the West.
“We are deeply troubled by Iran’s refusal to provide the IAEA with the needed access to service its monitoring equipment, as was agreed in the September 12 Joint Statement between the IAEA and Iran,” a US statement to the IAEA’s 35-nation Board of Governors on Monday said.
It was responding to an IAEA report to member states on Sunday that said Iran had granted access to sites as agreed on Sept. 12 but not to the workshop, where IAEA inspectors were denied access on Sunday. They had planned to check if the workshop was ready to operate and re-install cameras if it was.
Iran’s envoy to the IAEA, Kazem Gharibabadi, said overnight on Twitter that before the deal with the IAEA, Iran indicated that monitoring equipment at Karaj was “not included for servicing” because of ongoing investigations and Sunday’s report “goes beyond the agreed terms of the JS (Joint Statement).”
The European Union told the IAEA board that Iran’s failure to grant the IAEA access to the workshop was “a worrying development, contrary to the Joint Statement reached on 12 September 2021.”
A resolution criticizing Iran at the Board of Governors could kill hopes of resuming indirect talks between Iran and the United States to bring both sides back into compliance with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Iran usually bristles at such resolutions and its news hard-line President Ebrahim Raisi has said Iran is prepared to return to the negotiating table but not under Western “pressure.” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said on Friday Iran would return to the talks “very soon.”
“We call on Iran to provide the IAEA with needed access without further delay,” the US statement said. “If Iran fails to do so, we will be closely consulting with other board members in the coming days on an appropriate response.”
The European Union also called on Iran to grant access “without any further delay.”