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Diplomatic pressure building on Iran over its nuclear program — Israeli official

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, attends the quarterly IAEA Board of Governors meeting at the agency headquarters in Vienna, Austria, June 6, 2022. (JOE KLAMAR / AFP)
Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, attends the quarterly IAEA Board of Governors meeting at the agency headquarters in Vienna, Austria, June 6, 2022. (JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

A senior Israeli official says that diplomatic pressure on Iran is building over its nuclear program, with processes underway that could see the issue go back to the UN Security Council, an outcome Israel would welcome.

The International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors is meeting this week in Vienna and is expected to censure Iran for the first time since June 2020.

“This decision will for the first time put diplomatic pressure on Iran,” the officials says. “Diplomatic pressure that hasn’t been fully and seriously applied since the talks about the return to the JCPOA began.”

“We can see from Iran’s public statements and their threats that they are starting to be under pressure from the fact that the Board of Governors decision is going to be presented,” the official continues.

A resolution drafted by the United States, Britain, France and Germany urges Iran to “cooperate fully” with the IAEA.

The Biden administration is changing its approach toward Iran, the official says, as evidenced by recent statements on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps smuggling oil to pay for terror activities.

The official says that this frustration from the West and the building political pressure is the start of a process that could well end up with Tehran’s nuclear program back in the hands of the Security Council, a decision must be made by the IAEA Board of Governors. Such a step will not be taken during this meeting, the officials acknowledges.

An IAEA report coming out on Iran’s violations of the JCPOA is expected to show that the amount of uranium Iran has enriched to 60 percent could be enough for the three nuclear weapons, says the official.

The official adds that there is currently remarkable coordination between Israel and the US on the Iranian issue, led by Eyal Hulata and Jake Sullivan.

The comments come after Grossi said earlier today that Iran has still not provided satisfactory answers over the presence of uranium at three facilities.

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