UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) — Russia has frequently acted in ways that have effectively weakened global norms, including by weakening the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) independence in its efforts to probe secret nuclear programs, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stated at the UN Security Council.
"Unfortunately, in recent years Russia has often acted in ways that weaken global norms and undercut efforts to hold nations account. Examples include violating its own obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty, flouting the security assurances that made in the end of the Cold War, competing efforts to bail on the legacy of past international efforts over nuclear security and seeking to weaken the International Atomic Energy Agency's independence in investigating clandestine nuclear programs," Tillerson stated on Thursday.
"It was a surprise today to learn from the Secretary of State that Russia is undermining the IAEA, this is something new of course to us," Nebenzia said on Thursday.
The IAEA played a key part in verifying that Iran is complying with the 2015 nuclear agreement — the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which after years of diplomatic work had been signed by Iran and the P5+1 group of nations comprised of the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom plus Germany. The agreement stipulates lifting of nuclear-related sanctions imposed on Iran in exchange for Tehran maintaining the peaceful nature of its nuclear program. President Donald Trump called the JCPOA "an embarrassment" to the United States. He has also stated that he had made a decision on the deal, refusing, however, to announce it.
The IAEA was created in 1957 in response to fears and expectations generated by the discoveries and different uses of nuclear technology. The Agency was established as the world’s "Atoms for Peace" organization within the United Nations, and was given a mandate to work with UN member states as well as numerous partners to promote safe, secure and peaceful nuclear technologies.