EghtesadOnline: An Iranian top diplomat described as “unconstructive” any attempt at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors to pass a resolution against Iran, saying it will “shrink the current room for diplomacy” created after Iran’s recent agreement with the agency.
Speaking during the fourth round of political consultations between Iran and Austria held via videoconference on Monday, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi also censured European countries for pressing ahead with such a plan while they have failed to honor their commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, ISNA reported.
The three European members of JPCOA are set to put forward a resolution, backed by the United States, condemning Iran’s suspension of some inspections by the United Nations nuclear watchdog, diplomatic sources told AFP on Monday.
France, Germany and the UK will propose it during this week’s meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors, a delicate moment for diplomacy on the Iranian nuclear issue.
US President Joe Biden has said he is willing to bring the United States back to the landmark nuclear deal, although he refuses to return to its commitments and lift the sanctions.
The deal has been unravelling since Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump pulled the US out of the agreement in 2018 and reimposed sweeping sanctions on Tehran, which responded by scaling down its commitments.
Temporary Agreement at Risk
Iran has ramped up its remedial measures in recent months, most recently by curbing its cooperation with IAEA.
Last week, Iran ended its voluntary extra inspection and monitoring measures under JCPOA, although under black-box-type arrangement, by which Iran will keep recordings of some activities and monitoring equipment for three months and hand them over to IAEA when US sanctions are lifted. Otherwise, the data will be deleted forever.
The proposed resolution, however, could derail this temporary agreement that Iran reached with IAEA chief Rafael Grossi last week and the window of opportunity it created for diplomacy.
A document circulated by the Iranian mission in Vienna and seen by AFP said the introduction of a critical resolution would effectively end the temporary agreement with IAEA.
Sources say the European resolution is expected to come to a vote on Friday. A version of the text seen by AFP “expresses serious concern at Iran’s decision to stop implementing” some inspections-related commitments and “urges Iran to immediately resume implementation”.
Araqchi reiterated that Iran’s basic condition for its return to full implementation of JCPOA is the removal of the “illegal and cruel” US sanctions.