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Iran Doubles Down on Nuclear Ambitions Following IAEA Censure

  • Iran strongly condemns the recent IAEA resolution calling for increased cooperation with UN nuclear watchdog.
  • Tehran warns of retaliatory measures and potential expansion of its nuclear program in response to the censure.
  • The resolution could trigger a snapback of UN Security Council sanctions against Iran, escalating the nuclear crisis.

Iran has criticized a resolution by the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) calling on Tehran to step up its cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog.

The IAEA’s 35-nation board on June 5 voted 20-2, with 12 abstentions, to adopt the censure resolution tabled by Britain, France, and Germany -- the three Western European nations that are party to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and are known as the E3.

In a statement, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said it “strongly condemns” the resolution, which it described as a “political and unconstructive” move.

It added that Tehran is “committed to continue its technical cooperation” with the watchdog under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA.

Ahead of the vote, Iran had warned that it would respond to the censure resolution.

Behruz Kamalvandi, a spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), said after the adoption of the resolution that Tehran had “started taking steps” in response to the vote. He did not elaborate.

“Past experience should have proved to them [the West] that Iran does not retreat from its inalienable rights in the face of political pressure,” he said.

Nour News, an Iranian outlet affiliated with Ali Shamkhani, senior political adviser to Iran’s supreme leader, warned on June 6 that applying pressure on Tehran would only encourage it to expand its nuclear program.

Meanwhile, the Kayhan newspaper, whose chief editor is appointed by the supreme leader, on June 6 demanded the expulsion of all IAEA inspectors from Iran. It also alleged that the resolution was meant to influence Iran’s upcoming presidential election by forcing voters to elect a government willing to negotiate with the West.

Despite its adoption, the resolution did not receive as many votes in favor as the last two resolutions. A June 2022 resolution was adopted 30-2, while a November 2022 resolution was passed 26-2.

Iran responded to the June 2022 resolution by removing IAEA cameras and monitoring equipment from several nuclear sites. In reaction to the November 2022 censure, Tehran started to enrich uranium to 60 percent purity at a second site, the Fordo plant.

In September 2023, despite there being no resolution against Iran, the Islamic republic moved to bar several experienced UN inspectors from monitoring its equipment.

The new resolution calls on Iran to reinstate the veteran inspectors.

Iran insists that it has been cooperative with the IAEA, but the agency’s director-general, Rafael Grossi, maintains that Tehran has failed to provide “technically credible” explanations for traces of uranium found in two old but undeclared sites.

Damon Golriz, a lecturer at The Hague University of Applied Sciences, told RFE/RL’s Radio Farda that the resolution may be a step by European powers toward “taking a political decision” to trigger a “snapback” of UN Security Council (UNSC) sanctions against Iran.

The “snapback” mechanism is outlined in UNSC Resolution 2231, which enshrined the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers. However, the option to reimpose the sanctions expires in October 2025.

“With the activation of the ‘snapback’ mechanism, we go back to how things were 15 years ago, when six UN resolutions obliged the world to put Iran under pressure,” Golriz said.


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Leave a comment
  • Mamdouh Salameh on June 07 2024 said:
    The reason that a new Iran nuclear deal may never see the light of day is that Iran will never accept any new limits on its nuclear and missile development programmes. The only deal it will sign is one on its own terms.

    The truth of the matter is that the ultimate aim of Iran's nuclear programme is to acquire nuclear weapons. Iran looks around and sees that Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea defied the world and got away with developing nuclear weapons, So why not Iran?

    If Israel has been ignoring UN Security Council resolutions since its founding with impunity and with support of the United States , does anyone in his full faculties believe that Iran will be concerned about a snapback of US Security Council resolutions against it?

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert
  • Ben parastesh on June 08 2024 said:
    Ambition is ridiculous. Do you have the courage to say this, publish an article about Israel's ambitions, the unipolar era is over when America and the West are the cooks and you have to eat whatever they cook.

Leave a comment

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