Photo Credit: Dean Calma / IAEA
IAEA director general Rafael Grossi at the IAEA Board of Governors meeting in Vienna, Austria on Sept. 14, 2020.

The United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) denied that it has compromised its own standards in dealing with Iran.

IAEA chief Rafael Grossi told reporters at a news conference Monday that the agency “never ever, ever” waters down its standards.


The statement was made in response to an accusation by Israel that the agency had done exactly that in closing its probe into the discovery of uranium particles at three undeclared sites in Iran.

Grossi told IAEA member states in a report last week, however, that Iran had explained the depleted uranium traces at the Marivan site were due to the presence of a mine and laboratory operated by a country that diplomats said was the Soviet Union.

Because Iran had provided a “possible explanation,” the report said, the agency “at this time has no additional questions on the depleted uranium particles detected at ‘Marivan’ or on the location, and the matter is no longer outstanding at this stage.”

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in response that the explanation offered by Iran was “technically impossible,” and called the IAEA’s closure of the probe a “black stain” on its record.

“The closure of the Marivan Iranian safeguard case by the International Atomic Energy Agency is a matter of great concern,” Israel’s foreign ministry added in a separate statement last week.

“The explanations provided by Iran for the presence of nuclear material at the site are not reliable or technically possible.

“Iran continues to lie to the IAEA and deceive the international community.

“The yielding of the Director General of the IAEA and the International Atomic Energy Agency to Iranian political pressure is very disappointing, mainly because the information in the file implicitly points to two faces of blatant Iranian violations of the inspection agreements,” the statement said.

“Closing the case could have extremely dangerous consequences, and it conveys a message to the Iranians that they are not required to pay a price for their violations and that they can continue to deceive the international community on their way to achieving a full military nuclear program.”

The Israeli ministry added that closing the case “in this manner” severely damages the professional credibility of the IAEA.

Responding to the accusations, Grossi said, “We never ever, never ever water down our standards. We stand by our standards, we apply our standards.” But he offered no evidence that the agency is continuing its probe of the two other undeclared sites where uranium particles were found.

Instead, in his statement to the IAEA, Grossi simply urged Iran to engage in a “sustained and uninterrupted process that leads to all the commitments contained in the Joint Statement being fulfilled without delay.”

Last month, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said in remarks at a conference hosted by Herzliya’s Institute for Policy and Strategy of Reichman University that Iran is expanding is malign reach into new maritime arenas.

Gallant said the “floating terror bases” are intended to threaten trade and flight routes — both military and civilian — and to create a permanent threat in the maritime arena.

Iran is attempting to extend its terrorist activities from the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea to the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea and “even the shores of the Mediterranean,” Gallant warned.

During his remarks, he shed light on a new field that the IRGC naval forces are attempting to infiltrate, by constructing “floating terror bases.” Gallant also addressed the measures required to contend with Iran’s regional aggression and the threat posed by the Iranian nuclear program.

The minister detailed the Iranian strategy of converting trading vessels into military vessels armed with offensive equipment such as UAVs and missile systems, as well as with advanced means for intelligence gathering. He also addressed their intention to station the vessels at high distances from Iran, for extended periods of time.

“I have heard all of the reports about Iran,” Netanyahu said last week in a statement issued by his office.

“I have a sharp and clear message for both Iran and the international community: Israel will do whatever it needs to do to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.”

Share this article on WhatsApp:

Previous articleIAEA Chief: Iran Keeping a ‘Fraction’ of its Commitments
Next articleIDF Soldier Wounded in Terrorist Ramming Attack in Huwara, AGAIN
Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.