In Tehran, UN atomic chief says Iran sticking to nuke deal
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In Tehran, UN atomic chief says Iran sticking to nuke deal

Head of the IAEA meets with Iranian president after Trump decertifies Islamic Republic’s compliance with pact

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director general Yukiya Amano delivers a speech during a meeting at Accademia dei Lincei in Rome on October 9, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / TIZIANA FABI)
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director general Yukiya Amano delivers a speech during a meeting at Accademia dei Lincei in Rome on October 9, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / TIZIANA FABI)

The UN atomic agency chief said Sunday that Iran is keeping to its part of the international deal intended to prevent it from obtaining nuclear weapons.

In Tehran, International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi.

According to the semi-official Tasnim news agency, Amano said at a press conference that Iran’s commitments under the deal were being implemented.

Amano told reporters that he was politically impartial when reviewing Iran’s adherence to the agreement.

It was the second time this month that Amano has said Iran is in compliance with the deal.

During a conference in Rome, October 9, he said, “I can state that the nuclear-related commitments undertaken by Iran under the (nuclear agreement) are being implemented.”

Earlier this month US President Donald Trump decided to not recertify the 2015 deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, saying the agreement had failed to curb Iran’s missile program and destabilizing activities in the Middle East.

The landmark deal was signed in July 2015 by Iran and five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States) plus Germany — establishing controls to prevent Tehran from developing an atomic bomb before the deal’s expiration in 2025.

While Trump — and Israeli officials — have been very critical of the deal, the other partners have all indicated that they intend to uphold the pact.

An IAEA report released last month had also affirmed Iran’s compliance with the program, which froze some of Tehran’s nuclear activities.

Iran’s stock of low-enriched uranium — used for peaceful purposes, but when further processed can be used for a weapon — did not exceed the agreed limit of 300 kilograms (661 pounds), the report said.

It added that Iran “has not pursued the construction of the Arak… reactor” — which could give it weapons-grade plutonium — and has not enriched uranium above low-purity levels.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani delivers a speech after being sworn in before parliament in Tehran, on August 5, 2017. (AFP Photo/Atta Kenare)

Earlier Sunday Rouhani said Iran will continue to develop ballistic missiles despite US criticism of its program, insisting the weapons are defensive and do not violate international agreements.

Rouhani’s vow to push ahead came after the US House of Representatives voted in favor of legislation last week that would hit individuals and entities assisting Iran’s missile development with fresh sanctions. The bill was prompted by Trump’s decision on the nuclear deal.

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