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US, allies submit resolution to UN nuclear agency censuring Iran for blocking probe

Motion demands Tehran cooperate with IAEA after it reports ‘no progress’ in investigation into undeclared nuclear material

In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Ebrahim Raisi, second right, receives an explanation while visiting an exhibition of Iran's nuclear achievements in Tehran, Iran, April 9, 2022. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)
In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Ebrahim Raisi, second right, receives an explanation while visiting an exhibition of Iran's nuclear achievements in Tehran, Iran, April 9, 2022. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)

The United States, Britain, France and Germany have submitted a motion to the UN nuclear watchdog’s board censuring Iran over its lack of cooperation with the agency, two diplomats said Tuesday.

The resolution calling on Iran to cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency (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.

Traces of undeclared uranium of man-made origin had been discovered at three Iranian sites in the past.

The issue has been a point of contention during on-off talks between Tehran and world powers to revive a 2015 landmark deal that sought to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

The “resolution has been submitted tonight,” a European diplomat told AFP. A second diplomat confirmed the move.

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

A similar resolution criticizing Iran was adopted at the IAEA’s June meeting, with only China and Russia voting against it.

At the time, the Islamic Republic denounced the motion as “political” and responded to it by removing surveillance cameras and other equipment from its nuclear facilities.

The text must be discussed and voted on during this week’s quarterly meeting of the IAEA’s 35-nation Board of Governors that starts on Wednesday.

A simple majority of board members is sufficient to pass the resolution.

A visit by an IAEA delegation in Tehran has been scheduled for the end of the month in an attempt to make progress on the investigation.

Tehran, which claims its nuclear program is exclusively peaceful, has been pressing the UN nuclear watchdog to drop the probe in order to revive the 2015 deal on its nuclear program with world powers

But the IAEA has kept demanding “technically credible explanations” for the traces, including “access to locations and material,” as well as the collection of samples.

Talks have been underway since April of last year to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, which started to unravel when the United States withdrew from it in 2018.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken late last month reiterated that he saw little possibility to restore the deal, pointing to the Iranian clerical leadership’s conditions, as major protests roil the country.

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