Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addresses the US sanctions levied against Iran during a cabinet meeting in Tehran, Iran on October 31, 2018. (Photo:VCG)
Iran is implementing its side of its nuclear deal with major powers, the UN atomic watchdog policing the pact reaffirmed on Thursday, two weeks after the latest wave of reimposed US sanctions against Tehran took effect.
President Donald Trump said in May he was pulling the United States out of the 2015 nuclear deal for reasons including Iran's influence on the wars in Syria and Yemen and its ballistic missile program, none of which are covered by the pact.
Germany, France and Britain have been scrambling to prevent a collapse of the deal, under which international sanctions against Tehran were lifted in exchange for strict limits being placed on Iran's nuclear activities.
Many Western companies have cancelled plans to do business with Iran for fear of breaching the sanctions Washington has put back in place. That has raised fears that Iran will breach the deal's nuclear limits, which are designed to keep it a year away from being able to build a nuclear weapon if it chose to.
“Iran is implementing its nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Yukiya Amano told a quarterly meeting of his agency's 35-nation Board of Governors.
The JCPOA is the official name of the nuclear accord.
“It is essential that Iran continues to fully implement those commitments,” he added, confirming the findings of a confidential report to IAEA member states last week.
Amano did not comment on the broader impact of US sanctions, the latest round of which took effect on Nov. 5. Iran has warned it could scrap the deal if signatories France, Britain and Germany and their allies fail to preserve the economic benefits promised by its terms.
US Iran has chemical weapons program unknown to global agency
While Iran is promising to continue its future with the multilateral nuclear pact, the United States claimed that the Middle East country is not being fully honest.
Iran has not declared all its chemical weapons capabilities to the global chemical weapons agency in The Hague, in violation of an international non-proliferation convention, the U.S. ambassador to the organization said on Thursday.
Ambassador Kenneth Ward told a meeting of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) that Iran had failed to report a production facility for the filling of aerial bombs and maintains a program to obtain banned toxic munitions.
There was no immediate Iranian reaction to the remarks.
“The United States has had longstanding concerns that Iran maintains a chemical weapons program that it has failed to declare to the OPCW,” Ward said at an OPCW conference.
“The United States is also concerned that Iran is also pursuing central nervous system-acting chemicals for offensive purposes,” he said.
Iran failed to declare the transfer of chemical weapons to Libya in the 1980s, even after Libya declared them to the OPCW in 2011, he said.
Ward cited the discovery of chemical-filled artillery projectiles, mortars and aerial bombs of Iranian origin as proof that Iran did not fully disclose its capabilities.