DUBAI (Reuters) - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday his country would not breach its landmark nuclear deal with world powers as long as the West also honored its commitments to the accord.
Describing the accord a unique example in the history of diplomacy, Rouhani said Iran was committed not to pursue nuclear weapons.
The United States, the European Union and the United Nations are lifting the sanctions that barred Iran from the global financial system for years, after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) certified on Saturday that Tehran was complying with the agreement to curb its nuclear program.
“We will be committed to the nuclear deal as far as the other side is,” Rouhani was quoted as saying by the state news agency, IRNA, at a meeting with IAEA chief Yukiya Amano.
Amano arrived in Tehran on Sunday as he prepares the introduction of measures giving his agency greater inspection powers in order to ensure any nuclear materials in Iran will only be used for peaceful purposes.
“Even if a day comes when there is no NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty), safeguard or inspection by the IAEA, Iran is morally and religiously committed not to seek weapons of mass destruction,” Rouhani said.
Under the nuclear deal, Iran agreed to implement and then ratify the IAEA’s Additional Protocol to its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement. This will give the agency’s inspectors more powers since Iran must provide access to suspect sites within 24 days. If Iran refuses, it faces the possibility of U.N. sanctions being reimposed.
“A lot of work has been done to get to where we are now. A similar and sustained effort will be required in the future,” Amano said in statement to the media after meeting the head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi.
“Implementation of the Additional Protocol is of particular importance. We must maintain the momentum.”
Iran said Amano’s visit to Tehran was ceremonial and he would not visit any nuclear sites.
The IAEA in December closed its long-running inquiry into whether Iran once had a secret nuclear weapons program, opting to support Tehran’s deal with world powers rather than dwell on its past actions.
Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin; Editing by Giles Elgood