Vienna: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Director Rafael Grossi has expressed grave concern over Iran’s and North Korea’s nuclear program. It isn’t easy to trust Iran as it is violating the terms of the nuclear deal. At the same time, Grossi warned that North Korea was working on plutonium needed for nuclear weapons. The Biden administration hopes to reach a nuclear agreement with Iran in the next few weeks. Therefore, the IAEA director’s warning on Iran and North Korea assumes much significance politically.
The quarterly meeting of the Board of Governors of the 35 member states was held at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in the Austrian capital Vienna on Monday. At the meeting, the IAEA Director Grossi warned that the nuclear activity of Iran and North Korea was worrisome. It has become tough to work with Iran in the last few months, Grossi claimed, citing restrictions Iran had imposed on the inspection of nuclear projects. IAEA Director Grossi stated that although Iran had agreed to extend the IAEA nuclear monitoring deal by three months, it had banned the inspectors from entering the nuclear plant and recording actual observations.
‘In March, Iran had agreed that it would co-operate fully with the Agency’s inspectors and make the necessary disclosures about the nuclear material particles found at the three locations. Iran had also assured that it would resolve the issue by June. Nevertheless, the temporary extension given by Iran to the IAEA ends on June 24. Iran has not yet given satisfactory answers to the IAEA questions. Also, it has not proved that its nuclear program is peaceful. Therefore, it becomes difficult to trust Iran,’ Grossi warned.
Grossi warned the world against North Korea’s nuclear activities. In 2009, North Korea expelled an IAEA inspector. North Korea’s nuclear program has not been inspected since then. However, considering the movement and construction near North Korea’s nuclear facility, Grossi expressed suspicion over the country working on plutonium needed to produce nuclear weapons. In addition, Grossi drew attention to the fact that although North Korea shut down its Yongbyon nuclear facility two years ago, the nuclear activity at Kangson, near the capital Pyongyang, was extremely dangerous.
Meanwhile, Kazem Gharibabadi, Iran’s special envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has accused IAEA Director Grossi’s statements on Iran’s nuclear program of being biased and unrealistic.