Europeans drop plan to condemn Iran at UN nuclear watchdog

Rafael Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), speaks during a press conference after the IAEA Board of Governors meeting at the agency’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria, March 1, 2021. — AFP pic
Rafael Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), speaks during a press conference after the IAEA Board of Governors meeting at the agency’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria, March 1, 2021. — AFP pic

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VIENNA, Mar 4 — European nations will not go ahead with a planned resolution criticising Iran at this week’s meeting of the UN nuclear watchdog, diplomatic sources said today.

France, Britain and Germany had planned to introduce a resolution at a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s board of governors criticising Iran’s suspension of some IAEA inspections.

However, diplomats said the resolution, which had not yet been formally submitted, will now not be put forward.

The decision to hold off was taken “to give time to diplomacy”, one diplomatic source said, pointing to “initiatives undertaken by (IAEA Director General Rafael) Grossi” and signs of “good faith” on the Iranian side.

IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi is expected to hold a press conference at 1100 GMT.

Earlier this week, a report in the Iranian Vatan-e-Emrouz newspaper said Tehran had “temporarily suspended the production of uranium metal on the order of the President (Hassan Rouhani)”.

The government in Tehran has not disputed the accuracy of the report.

Under the landmark 2015 deal with world powers on its nuclear programme, Iran had committed not to produce uranium metal.

However, Iran says it has the right to breach this and a series of other constraints on its nuclear activities laid down in the deal in retaliation for the US’s withdrawal from the accord in 2018 and subsequent imposition of sanctions. — AFP

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