TEHRAN, IRAN — The second International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) quarterly report since U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and impose sanctions on Iran has, once again, confirmed that Iran is in compliance with the restrictions placed on it.
The IAEA’s last report, released in May, indicated that Iran could take additional steps to cooperate with inspectors in order to “enhance confidence” but did not deem that cause for concern. Thursday’s report was virtually identical to the previous one. The report noted that Iran’s enriched uranium production was within limits agreed to in the deal and was virtually unchanged since the May report.
“The production rate [of enriched uranium] is constant. There is no change whatsoever,” a senior diplomat said.
Despite Iran’s compliance, the United States has reimposed sanctions on Iran that were lifted under the nuclear deal. Analysts doubt the deal will survive despite efforts to counter the moves made by the Trump administration. Trump appears desperate to depict Iran as violating the deal, despite evidence to the contrary.
The 2015 pact does not address Iran’s ballistic missile arsenal nor the country’s role in the wars in Syria and Yemen. Trump has cited this as a reason for the United States’ pulling out of the agreement. Iran has ruled out negotiating on its ballistic missile arsenal.
At a meeting in Vienna on Thursday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the deal is still holding. He urged the European Union (EU) to do more to protect Tehran from the sanctions with “permanent financial mechanisms that allow Iran to continue to trade.”
The EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said at a press conference in Vienna on Friday that the EU would continue working to preserve the deal. Mogherini referred to the new IAEA report as “good news.” Mogherini also said of the EU’s role:
Our work continues with all the member states and with other partners in the world, to make sure that Iranians and Iranian citizens can benefit from the economic relations not only with the European Union’s member states, but also others in the world.”
In early August the EU implemented a new law to protect European companies from the impact of the sanctions on Iran, though large companies continue to pull out of the country.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Twitter that, if preserving the deal is the goal, “then there is no escape from mustering the courage to comply with commitment to normalize Iran’s economic relations instead of making extraneous demands.”
But on Wednesday Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei indicated he was doubtful of the EU’s ability to save the deal, adding that Tehran may eventually abandon it.
As MintPress recently reported, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a speech that the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) would act with “all its might” against Iranian military assets in Syria with the same “determination” it used to urge the U.S. to withdraw from the JCPOA.
Zarif highlighted the irony of Netanyahu’s statement on Twitter:
Top Photo | An Iranian security agent walks through the Uranium Conversion Facility, outside the city of Isfahan, 410 kilometers, south of the capital Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, March 30, 2005. (AP/Vahid Salemi)
Emma Fiala is MPN’s Editorial Assistant and social media guru. She is also a documentary photographer, mom of two, and an independent journalist. Her stories have been featured on MintPress News, the Anti-Media, Media Roots, Zero Hedge, the Mind Unleashed and Steemit. Find her on Twitter.