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EUROPEAN POWERS SUBMIT IRAN CENSURE MOTION TO IAEA BOARD

E3 diplomats reportedly cited Iran’s lack of cooperation with the agency, fearing Iran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon. A recent report from the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) alleged the US was pressuring its European allies not to confront Iran on its nuclear program.


June 4, 2024


Stop Iran Now/Iran International




Britain, France, and Germany, also known collectively as the E3, submitted a resolution to the United Nations nuclear watchdog’s Board of Governors Monday censuring Iran.


E3 diplomats reportedly cited Iran’s lack of cooperation with the agency, fearing Iran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon. The Islamic Republic has repeatedly denied that claim, insisting its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.


A diplomatic source told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that the censure has been formally tabled, claiming an “urgency” to react to the situation.


The draft resolution seen by AFP reportedly demands Iran readmit IAEA inspectors and restore camera surveillance at nuclear sites.


The E3’s plan to censure Iran is a "bold move and a remarkable turn of events," according to Andrea Stricker, the Deputy Director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD)’s Nonproliferation and Biodefense program.


“The E3 moving ahead on its own by itself is fascinating,” said Stricker.


“Typically, they [E3] won’t pursue censure unless Washington goes along with it. We don't know yet if Washington is going to vote for the censure or abstain,” she added.

Jason Brodsky, the policy director of United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), believes the Europeans are frustrated with the US policy on Iran.


"I think they sense that US policy is adrift. That we have no strategy as it relates to the Islamic Republic, particularly with respect to its nuclear program, and that the status quo of inaction amid a series of Iranian escalatory behaviors," Brodsky told Iran International.


The development comes amid heightened tensions over Iran's nuclear capabilities.


A recent confidential International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report, reviewed by Iran International and other media outlets, warned Iran is continuing to enrich uranium to near weapons-grade levels.


According to the report, Iran’s estimated stockpile of enriched uranium had reached more than 30 times the limit set out in the 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and the world powers.


Uranium enriched to 60 percent is close to the levels of 90 percent needed for atomic weapons.


A recent report from the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) alleged the US was pressuring its European allies not to confront Iran on its nuclear program. The report stated that the US and Europe were at odds on how to deal with Iran.


In a previous interview with Iran International, Behnam Ben Taleblu, a senior fellow at the FDD, said the fact that there has not been a resolution of censure for more than a year demonstrates the US is not on the same page with its E3 allies when it comes to Iran’s nuclear ambitions.


At the time, US officials said no decision had been taken with respect to the Board of Governors meeting.


Stricker told Iran International the move by Britain, France and Germany to censure Iran suggests the nations' approach to Iran drastically differs from that of the Biden administration.

“The E3 is realizing that the Biden administration's approach and previously the European approach to Iran, which is to de-escalate tensions, to try to use diplomacy to get them to restrain their nuclear advances, is not yielding any sort of benefits,” she said.

The IAEA said Iran is the only non-nuclear weapon state to enrich uranium to such levels.

On Monday, IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said the agency “has lost continuity of knowledge in relation to the production centrifuges, rotors and bellows, heavy water, and uranium.”


"Public statements made in Iran regarding its technical capabilities to produce nuclear weapons and possible changes to Iran’s nuclear doctrine only increase my concerns about the correctness and completeness of Iran’s safeguards declarations,” said Grossi during a session with the IAEA Board of Governors.


On Saturday, Ali Shamkhani, a political advisor to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, warned on X that if “some misguided European countries... adopt a hostile stance towards Iran... at the board, they will face a serious and effective response from our country."


Brodsky believes Iran will respond to the censure resolution.

"I think what the US and its E3 allies do in response to that escalation is going to be equally as important as the resolution. Let's not forget that what I think has been deeply harmful in this entire debate over the censure resolution as it became public that the United States was hesitant or opposed to a censure resolution. I think that Ayatollah Khamenei is a keen judge of the US will."


Russia’s ambassador to the international organizations in Vienna also posted to X this weekend, claiming that a “anti-Iranian resolution” could pose the risk of "seriously deteriorating the situation”.


Negotiations on Iran's nuclear program are on hold after the death of Iran’s president Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash last month near the border with Azerbaijan.


In a presser Monday in Beirut, Iran's acting Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani said exchanges of messages and consultations are still underway with the United States.


The Associated Press reported last month that Bagheri held indirect talks in Oman with Brett McGurk, an adviser to Biden, through Omani officials over heightened tensions in the region.


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