TEHRAN -- Iran vowed on Friday to show an “immediate response” to any move against it by the United States and European countries at the UN nuclear agency IAEA whose chief Rafael Grossi made an unusual visit to Occupied Palestine ahead of a planned meeting by the Board of Governors on Tehran’s nuclear program.
“Any political action by the United States and the three European countries in the agency (IAEA) will undoubtedly be met with a proportionate, effective and immediate response from Iran,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hussein Amir-Abdollahian said.
The minister also said the IAEA head’s visit to Occupied Palestine was in conflict with the agency’s impartiality.
The United States, France, Britain and Germany are reportedly pushing for the IAEA’s Board of Governors to rebuke Iran in its session on Monday.
A State Department official said Thursday the U.S. will join the Europeans to submit a resolution calling on Iran to “fully cooperate” with the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
“We can confirm that we plan to join the UK, France and Germany in seeking a resolution to focus on the need for Iran to fully cooperate with the IAEA,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said during a press briefing.
On Friday, Iran warned against “further erosion” of the UN nuclear agency’s credibility after its chief Grossi visited Al-Quds and met with the occupying regime’s extremist premier Naftali Bennett ahead of the IAEA meeting.
“As one of the original signatories to NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty), Iran calls on all to beware of further erosion of the IAEA’s credibility,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said.
“No one can keep mum on Israel’s clandestine nuclear weapons program and then claim impartiality and talk about Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities,” he added.
Earlier this week, Bennett accused Iran of stealing classified documents from the IAEA and using them to deceive international inspectors nearly two decades ago. Iran rejected the allegations as outright lies.
The occupying regime of Israel, which is the sole possessor of atomic warheads in the Middle East, has never allowed IAEA inspectors to inspect its nuclear sites. It has also refused to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
On the other hand, Iran, despite being a signatory of the NPT, continues to reel under harsh sanctions for pursuing a peaceful nuclear program.
On Saturday, an Iranian international law expert said Grossi has blocked him on Twitter over two questions he raised in a thread of tweets over the Zionist regime’s nuclear policy.
In a tweet, foreign policy analyst Reza Nasri said he had asked Grossi to clarify the IAEA’s position on the Israeli regime’s so-called “doctrine of strategic ambiguity” on its secret nuclear weapons program.
“And he saw fit to block me in response! This shows those are embarrassingly important questions, and need to be raised time and again!” Nasri wrote as he included his questions from Grossi.
“1) Mr.@rafaelmgrossi, while you’re in #Israel, can you publicly clarify your position on the notion of “strategic ambiguity”? Is this a “doctrine” other countries can use to evade IAEA probes?”
“2) Do you think it’s fair – and indicative of IAEA impartiality – that #Iran gets censored because it has not allegedly offered “technically credible” explanations on its civilian program while Israel seems entitled to hide its nuclear WMDs by officially evoking this doctrine?” Nasri also asked.
After he was blocked, Nasri criticized the IAEA’s hypocrisy, tweeting, “#Israel shouldn’t be IAEA’s “redline”, Mr. Grossi! If you don’t agree, maybe you should recuse yourself.
Criticizing Grossi’s visit ahead of the IAEA Board of Governors’ meeting, head of the Kayhan Group of Newspapers Hussein Shariatmadari said the UN nuclear agency must explain whether Iran is dealing with the agency or Israel in the nuclear issue.
He also said several sabotage operations against Iran’s nuclear facilities and assassinations of the country’s nuclear scientists have been carried out using information gathered by Mossad and CIA spies under the cover of IAEA inspectors.
He referred to a 2015 article by Joshua Rovner from the Brookings institute that had said, “Not only will intelligence agencies benefit from inspection reports dealing with Iran’s nuclear program, but they will be free to explore other areas of Iran’s scientific and associated industrial infrastructure.”
China warned that any confrontational moves at the upcoming meeting will only undermine cooperation between Iran and the IAEA, and disrupt the process to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said exerting pressure on Iran and the UN nuclear agency will escalate tensions and complicate the situation.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also hit out at the U.S. and the Europeans over their “unconstructive” push for the anti-Iran resolution.