The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued a report on 23rd February in which it stated that uranium particles were found in locations that had not been identified as nuclear sites. Furthermore, the IAEA has been unable to get a satisfactory explanation about these findings. IAEA chief Rafael Grossi expressed “deep concern” about the situation.
At the same time, the regime decided to withdraw from the Additional Protocol to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which gives nuclear inspectors the right to gain entry to suspicious sites. The access to sites was already inadequate, but this makes the situation even more difficult to monitor Iran’s compliance.
During the NCRI press conference, member and host Ali Safavi recalled the words of President-elect Mrs. Maryam Rajavi who said in 2015 before the nuclear deal had been signed that “total implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions, in a particular total halt of enrichment, accepting the Additional Protocol, and free and unhindered access of the IAEA inspectors to all suspected centers and facilities, are necessary in order for the regime to give up its drive to acquire nuclear weapons”.
Access to nuclear sites is a major issue. Although the JCPOA allowed for visits by inspectors, practically it was useless because of the substantial notice that had to be given to the regime, allowing it the time to hide and destroy evidence. Safavi pointed out that this happened on several occasions in the past.
During the press conference, Safavi highlighted that it is part of the “regime’s DNA” this pattern of “duplicity, denial, deception, and cover-up”, not just since the JCPOA was agreed, but for decades previous to this too.
Former Member of the European Parliament Struan Stevenson participated in the press conference during which he criticized the EU for being “ludicrously committed” to the nuclear deal despite Iran’s continued belligerence and its repeated breaches. He said that he hopes US President Biden will not follow in the footsteps of EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell who is appeasing the regime at all costs.
Former US official Robert Joseph also called on the leaders not to fall for the regime’s blackmail because it will only open nations up to further blackmail in the future. He said that this is reason enough for the international community to be wary about doing further business with the regime, “especially in light of the latest revelations about undeclared nuclear sites”. Joseph said that it is abundantly clear that the Iranian regime cannot and should not be trusted.
Responding to questions by journalists, Safavi made it clear that further violations and deceptions are likely, and that there are high chances that many deceptions have not yet even been discovered. The main takeaway was that the nuclear deal has been disastrous and that appeasement is hugely damaging.