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Iran rejects Western IAEA motion censuring it for blocking nuclear probe

Head of Tehran’s nuclear agency says US and European allies submitted documents they ‘know are not true’; adds no visit by UN atomic watchdog is on the agenda

Mohammad Eslami, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), speaks at the 66th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria, September 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Theresa Wey)
Mohammad Eslami, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), speaks at the 66th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria, September 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Theresa Wey)

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran said Wednesday that it rejected a draft resolution by Western nations calling on it to cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

“They wrote a resolution and brought documents which they themselves know are not true and which are rejected by the Islamic Republic,” the official IRNA news agency quoted Iran’s atomic energy chief Mohamed Eslami as saying.

On Tuesday, diplomats said that the United States, Britain, France and Germany had submitted the resolution to the UN nuclear watchdog.

The resolution calling on Iran to cooperate fully with the IAEA comes after a report by the agency concluded there had been “no progress” in a long-standing probe into undeclared nuclear material in Iran.

The text must be discussed during a quarterly meeting of the IAEA’s 35-nation Board of Governors, which starts on Wednesday.

The draft text seen by AFP underscored that it was “essential and urgent” for Iran to “act to fulfill its legal obligations.”

An IAEA delegation was due to visit Iran this month, but Eslami said that “for the moment, no visit of the agency (IAEA) is on the agenda.”

“We have responded to all of the IAEA’s allegations and accusations and, if it had good intentions and a will to continue negotiations, they [Western countries] would not have presented a resolution” against Iran, he added.

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi, second right, listens to an explanation while viewing an advanced centrifuge at an exhibition of Iran’s nuclear achievements in Tehran, Iran on April 9, 2022. (Iran President’s Office)

It comes against the backdrop of stalled talks on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal.

The deal Iran reached with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States gave it relief from sanctions in return for guarantees it could not develop an atomic weapon. Iran has denied wanting a nuclear arsenal.

The deal collapsed after Washington’s unilateral withdrawal in 2018 under then-US president Donald Trump.

Eslami said that “adopting a policy of maximum pressure and spreading accusations” against Iran is in “the nature of those who multiply the sanctions.”

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