London- The chief of the UN atomic watchdog said on Monday he was confident following a visit to Washington of “very good cooperation” with the United States on Iran’s nuclear deal, despite President Donald Trump’s hawkish comments.
“The new US administration has not yet decided what to do about the 2015 Iran nuclear deal,” International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director
Chief Yukiya Amano said.
“The new administration of the United States just started and they are looking at this issue. They are looking not only at that issue but also at many other issues. So it is very early for them to give their assessment,” AFP quoted him as saying.
Amano held talks on Thursday with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and other senior officials in Washington for the first time since Donald Trump became president in January.
During his confirmation hearing Tillerson had called for a “full review” of the deal, which extends the time Iran would need to produce a nuclear weapon if it chose to.
“I am confident that we can have very good cooperation with the United States in the future,” Amano told a news conference in Vienna, according to Reuters.
The 2015 agreement between Iran and major powers restricts Tehran’s nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of sanctions against the Islamic Republic, but Trump has called it “the worst deal ever negotiated” and said he wants to “police that contract so tough (the Iranians) don’t have a chance.”
Amano’s remarks on Monday, the first day of a quarterly meeting of the IAEA board of governors, were the first indication of how the talks in Washington had gone, though he did not provide specific details on what Tillerson told him.
With respect to Iran, I made the point that the JCPOA is a net gain from the verification point of view because now we have the strongest verification regime in Iran while the nuclear activities of Iran are reduced,” Amano said, calling the deal by its full name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
The IAEA is in charge of policing the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activities under the deal agreed between Iran, the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany.