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U.S. Opposes European Moves to Criticize Iran at IAEA Amid Rising Tensions

Daniel Kim Views  

AP/Yonhap News

Claims have been raised that the Biden administration, ahead of the November U.S. presidential election, pressured European allies not to adopt a resolution condemning Iran’s nuclear program to prevent escalating tensions with Iran.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) cited well-informed sources on the 27th (local time) that “When the UK and France announced their intention to push for a resolution condemning Iran’s progress on its nuclear program at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors next month, the U.S. opposed it.” The U.S. has indicated that it will abstain from voting if the resolution is brought up at the IAEA Board of Governors meeting and is known to have asked other member countries to do the same.

European countries believe that if no action is taken against Iran, the authority of the IAEA, which pursues a non-proliferation policy for nuclear weapons, may be undermined. After former U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally scrapped the Iran Nuclear Agreement (JCPOA·Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) in 2018, which lifted economic sanctions against Iran in return for halting its nuclear weapons development, Iran has refused international inspections of its nuclear activities. According to IAEA data, Iran has enough nuclear fissile material to produce at least three nuclear weapons. European countries led by the UK and France argue that a line needs to be drawn as Iran has been increasing its stockpile of enriched uranium and other materials. If the IAEA Board of Governors adopts a resolution of condemnation, the UN Security Council can also address the Iranian nuclear issue.

The U.S. reportedly argued that if a resolution of condemnation is adopted at the IAEA level, Iran may respond more aggressively to Western pressure. The U.S. has amplified its position that the sudden death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on the 19th has increased uncertainty. Even if Western countries unanimously adopt a resolution of condemnation at the IAEA Board of Governors, one reason for opposing the resolution is that there is no way to respond if Russia or China exercises its veto. Instead, the US is considering issuing a comprehensive report on Iran’s non-cooperation concerning its nuclear program. However, the WSJ quoted sources as saying this could only be pursued after the November presidential election.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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