Western states have ditched a planned resolution criticizing Iran at the UN’s nuclear watchdog, after Tehran allowed some monitoring of its atomic dealings but did not commit to answering key questions on its nuclear operations.
On Monday, the chief of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, shared that he had failed to obtain a “promise” from Tehran that would explain the traces of uranium found at several old sites.
Grossi stated, however, that he needs to “have a clear conversation with the new [Iranian] government about this.”
Despite a lack of commitment from Tehran to explain the uranium issue, the US, France, UK, and Germany decided to scrap pursuing a resolution at the IAEA’s meeting later this week – likely in an effort to avert tensions from re-escalating with their Iranian counterparts, which could stall the nuclear deal negotiations.
On Sunday, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran granted the IAEA permission to monitor cameras at its nuclear facilities, which Tehran has previously not permitted. A joint statement issued after the agreement hailed the progress between the two partners as having “reaffirmed the spirit of cooperation and mutual trust” and “emphasized on the necessity of addressing the relevant issues in a constructive atmosphere.”
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Negotiations are still ongoing with the Islamic republic for reviving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) after the White House unilaterally left the accord in 2018 under former US President Donald Trump. After Washington pulled out of the agreement and hit Iran with sanctions, the Middle-Eastern nation began enriching uranium to levels which breached the terms outlined in the JCPOA.
In July, Iran’s former President Hassan Rouhani revealed that Iran has the ability to enrich uranium up to 90%, the concentration considered the benchmark for producing nuclear weapons, “if one day” the reactor needs to.
US interest in mending the ruptured deal has increased under President Joe Biden’s administration, but Iran has insisted that all sanctions imposed on Washington against Tehran should be lifted first. The White House, meanwhile, refuses to do so unless Iran returns to full compliance under the JCPOA.
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