Exclusive – EU draft resolution on nuclear agency to pressure Iran over particulates and probes


By François Murphy

VIENNA (Reuters) – A draft resolution submitted by European powers to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s board of governors on Monday for a vote this week calls for Iran to explain traces of uranium found at undeclared sites and includes issues such as refusal. This is access for researchers.

The plan, seen by Reuters, follows a resolution issued 18 months ago that ordered Tehran to immediately comply with an investigation by a United Nations agency into those effects. The new text requires Iran to cooperate without delay, including allowing the agency to take samples if necessary.

The plan is moving forward as it addresses recent issues, such as Iran’s blocking of several of the agency’s senior uranium enrichment experts from joining the inspection team. It calls on Iran to reverse the move and implement a joint statement issued in March 2023, which pledged a comprehensive cooperation with the UN.

Calls on Iran (Council) to demonstrate adequate cooperation and take essential and urgent measures with the Agency, as decided by the Council in its November 2022 resolution, to resolve outstanding security issues despite numerous contacts with the Agency since 2019. ,” the text read.

The 35-nation Board of Governors meets every three months and is one of the IAEA’s two highest policy-making bodies. The other meets only once a year.

The agency has reduced the number of sites it will inspect for antiquities from three to two after the end of 2022, but Iran has yet to explain how the antiquities got there. The agency refers to these as “outstanding safety issues.”

Britain, France and Germany, the so-called troika, are pushing for the resolution because Tehran has shown anger at such decisions in the past and taken such steps despite US concerns that the move would prompt Iran to retaliate by increasing its nuclear activities. Answer on that.

Diplomats say the three European countries believe Iran’s continued non-cooperation with the IAEA and its advanced nuclear program make such a move necessary.

The three European countries would not have presented the text if they were not confident of its approval. Only Russia and China opposed the latest resolution against Iran.

Iran enriches uranium to 60 percent, or nearly 90 percent pure enough for weapons-grade production, and has amassed enough enrichment to make three nuclear bombs by Atomic Energy Agency standards.

Western powers say there is no credible civilian justification for enrichment to this extent, and the agency says no other country has done so without producing nuclear weapons. Iran says its goals are purely peaceful.

If Iran does not cooperate, IAEA Director General Raffaele Grossi may prepare a “comprehensive” report, which will increase the pressure on Tehran even more.

“Iran’s continued failure to provide the necessary, full and clear cooperation with the Agency to resolve all outstanding safeguards issues may require the Director General to prepare a comprehensive and updated assessment of the potential or use of undeclared nuclear material,” he said. .

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