The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is the United Nations nuclear watchdog, voted to order Iran to cooperate with the agency’s investigation into traces of uranium found at three undeclared sites, as a nuclear deal with the country seems to be less and less. certain.
The resolution drafted by the United States, Britain, France and Germany says the junta “decides that it is essential and urgent” that Iran explain the origin of the uranium particles and, more generally, give the IAEA all the answers. which requires.
“Iran must now provide the necessary cooperation, no more empty promises,” the United States said in its statement to the board shortly before the resolution was adopted with 26 votes in favor, five abstentions and two countries absent, according to diplomats at the meeting. . . Only Russia and China voted against.
The resolution is not the first time the junta has approved action against Iran, but the current resolution contains stronger language that suggests a possible diplomatic escalation in the future.
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One possible action the junta could take in the future is a referral to the UN Security Council (UNSC), Behnam Ben Taleblu, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told Fox News Digital.
“Stronger language from the IAEA board on Iran’s failure to explain traces of man-made uranium particles at previous nuclear sites may serve as a potential glide path for the UNSC reference, something Tehran has sought to long avoid halves and empty promises of cooperation. Taleblu said.
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Taleblu explained that “blaming Iran for these shortcomings has to be the bottom price” rather than the top price of a new “pressure-based approach to countering Tehran’s nuclear breaches.”
“If there is no transparency and cooperation, then for the sake of the integrity of the global non-proliferation regime, Tehran must face the consequences,” Taleblu added. “This includes exercising the ‘snapback’ option built into the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action).”
The IAEA move comes as talks on a nuclear deal have stalled and Robert Malley, the US envoy for Iran affairs, said last month that he will not “waste time” trying to revive talks with Iran in light of Tehran’s brutal crackdown on anti-government protesters and its support for Russia in its war against Ukraine.
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Over the summer, Iranian officials rejected an EU proposal and made further demands in late August and early September. Since then, anti-government protests have broke out in iran in response to the death in police custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who had been detained by Iran’s morality police in September for failing to properly cover her hair with the Islamic headscarf, known as the hijab, which is mandatory for women Iranians.
Despite O’Malley saying earlier this week that the US is continuing its “sanctions and pressure” strategy, an Iranian official said this week that there is currently a “nonstop exchange of messages” between the two countries in terms of revive the 2015 deal that was scrapped by former President Donald Trump, Anadolu Agency reported this week.
Lisa Daftari, an expert on Iranian relations and editor-in-chief of the Foreign Desk, told Fox News Digital that the recent IAEA development “calls into question” the Biden administration’s approach to Iran and provides evidence that any nuclear deal would be a deal. with a partner who has shown no reason to be trusted.
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“To date, the Biden administration has been pressured to suspend the deal both because of the regime’s demands and because of the movement of young Iranian protesters, which has managed to attract global attention,” Daftari said. “An event like this once again underscores the importance of supporting the movement in Iran, which seeks to overthrow a government that cannot be trusted to lead its people or obtain nuclear weapons.”
Taleblu told Fox News Digital that regardless of any resolution issued against Iran, the country’s “nuclear advances and diplomatic intransigence are increasingly throwing cold water on the prospect of nuclear diplomacy with the Islamic Republic.”
“After all, Western diplomats must ask themselves, what is the point of such diplomacy with a regime that slaughters protesters, proliferates weapons, endorses wars of imperial aggression and continues to shun nuclear transparency?” he said.
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The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.
Reuters contributed to this report.