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IAEA Issues Strong Reproach to Iran, Demands Urgent Compliance

Rafael Mariano Grossi, IAEA Director General, briefs members of the international press and media on the Islamic Republic of Iran June 3rd| IAEA Photobank
Rafael Mariano Grossi, IAEA Director General, briefs members of the international press and media on the Islamic Republic of Iran June 3rd| IAEA Photobank

By: ATN News

Vienna: In a significant move, the UN's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), passed a resolution on Wednesday criticizing Iran for its lack of cooperation with the agency. The resolution, brought forward by Britain, France, and Germany, faced opposition from China and Russia and marks the first such censure since November 2022.

The resolution, passed by the IAEA's 35-nation board of governors, received 20 votes in favor, 12 abstentions, and one non-participation. The United States, initially hesitant due to concerns about exacerbating Middle East tensions, ultimately supported the motion following intensive negotiations to modify the resolution.

The confidential document, obtained by AFP, emphasized the urgent need for Iran to provide "technically credible explanations" for the presence of uranium particles at two undeclared sites. It also highlighted Iran's recent actions, including the withdrawal of designations for several experienced IAEA inspectors and the disconnection of surveillance cameras monitoring its nuclear activities.

The resolution expressed concerns over Iran's public statements regarding its capabilities to produce nuclear weapons and potential shifts in its nuclear doctrine. It warned that continued non-cooperation might necessitate a comprehensive assessment by IAEA chief Rafael Grossi.

Iran's response was swift and stern. Tehran's mission to the UN condemned the resolution as "hasty and unwise," warning it would harm diplomatic efforts and constructive cooperation. Iranian officials labeled the motion "devoid of any legal, technical, and political basis" and threatened a serious response.

Past censure motions have led Iran to remove surveillance equipment and increase uranium enrichment, actions that have heightened international tensions. The IAEA has reported that Iran's nuclear program has expanded significantly, with enriched uranium levels reaching 60 percent, just short of weapons-grade, a level unprecedented for a state without a nuclear weapons program.

European powers have criticized Iran's nuclear advancements, describing them as "alarming" and "unprecedented." They stressed the resolution sent a strong message of support for the IAEA's efforts and urged Iran to resolve outstanding issues to avoid further Board action.

Iran's nuclear activities have been a point of contention since the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, which provided sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its atomic program. The deal unraveled after the US withdrawal under President Donald Trump in 2018, and efforts to revive it have stalled.

In a joint statement, Tehran, Moscow, and Beijing urged Western countries to resume the 2015 deal, a call the US dismissed, citing Iran's refusal to accept previous accords and continued activities undermining the deal.

The resolution's passage underscores the deepening impasse over Iran's nuclear ambitions and the international community's efforts to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons. As diplomatic efforts continue, the potential for further escalation remains a critical concern for global security.


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