Iran Criticizes IAEA for Politicizing Technical Matters
IRAN NEWS NATIONAL DESK
TEHRAN – Iran’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to International Organizations as well as IAEA in Vienna criticized misleading comments on Bushehr Nuclear power plant, saying it turns into a problem when technical matters are politicized.
Kazaem Gharib Abadi delivered a speech on Monday during the meeting of IAEA Board of Governors and said, “IAEA has a basic role in coordinating international efforts, presenting its experience and expertise as well as holding consultation to improve nuclear safety at global level.
He also noted that the Islamic Republic of Iran, as a receiver of IAEA’s technical aids, has recognized the importance of these aids for the IAEA members in reinforcing the infrastructures of national nuclear safety.
“In this regard, the expansion of human resources and the reinforcement of capacities should be considered as a key point in safety, efficiency, and stability of any nuclear program,” said Gharibabadi, underlining “this kind of help should not be contingent.”
Explaining about the safety status of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, he stated: “The safest reactors are being used in this plant. Their safety is clear in the world.”
He also rejected Saudi Arabia’s “misleading” claims about safety standards at the Bushehr power plant, warning against attempts at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to politicize technical issues.
Gharibabadi dismissed the Saudi envoy’s allegations as “too far from reality and highly misleading.”
“The problem arises when technical issues turn political,” he added.
Gharibabadi did not specify the claims made by Saudi Arabia, but Riyadh has in the past alleged that potential radioactive leakage from the nuclear power plant could endanger the Persian Gulf region, including the kingdom’s air, food and water desalination stations.
The Bushehr facility sits 17 kilometers southeast of the city of Bushehr along the Persian Gulf coast in southwestern Iran.
Gharibabadi said Iran, as a state receiving technical assistance from the Agency, recognizes the importance of such support in strengthening its national nuclear safety infrastructure.
He reminded that the IAEA had conducted an “Integrated Regulatory Review Service” mission at the Bushehr plant in February and March 2020, which was assessed as satisfactory.
The IAEA delegation “concluded that Iran’s nuclear safety system has the competence, capacity, and capability to monitor nuclear power activities,” he said.
Unlike Iran, Saudi Arabia, as a newcomer, has been developing and advancing a “non-transparent” nuclear program, said Gharibabadi. “It should be emphasized that the main responsibility in the area of nuclear safety lies with the member state itself and this not a commodity that could be imported.”
He further referred to Saudi plans to dig a canal along the border with Qatar, part of which will reportedly serve as a nuclear waste facility.
Saudi Arabia is “adopting an irresponsible approach towards not only its own people and environment, but also the safety of the region and its neighbors,” he pointed out.
The Iranian official also pointed to the construction of two nuclear power reactors underway in Saudi Arabia, calling on the kingdom to provide the IAEA with a “transparent” and “comprehensive” plan on ensuring nuclear safety at the facilities.
He also urged foreign service providers to Saudi Arabia to guarantee that the kingdom would meet the highest levels of environmental and safety requirements.