While the European troika and the US did their best to picture Iran as non-compliant to its nuclear commitment during the IAEA Board of Governors meetings this week, the body issued no resolution against Iran.
This Wednesday, the European troika, which includes England, Germany, and France, well as the United States, submitted statements to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors to persuade the body to issue an anti-Iran resolution.
The four Western countries did their best to picture Iran as a country that has violated its obligations under its NPT Safeguards Agreement, claiming that the answers that Tehran provided over the cases of uranium traces to the IAEA are not technically true.
“Iran’s activities such as centrifuge configuration changes at Fordow without prior notice to the IAEA and detection of particles of uranium enriched at 83.7% took place in the context of over four years of a lack of substantive cooperation with the IAEA regarding possible undeclared nuclear material three undeclared locations in Iran two decades ago,” the E3 countries said in their joint statement Wednesday.
Also referring to the three previous resolutions that the IAEA board had earlier issued against Iran’s nuclear activities, the latest of which was issued this past November, the European troika said “The IAEA decided it is essential and urgent that Iran acts to fulfill its legal obligations and clarify all outstanding safeguards issues without delay, but Iran’s longstanding lack of cooperation with the Agency, incremental and limited steps are neither sufficient nor satisfactory”.
For its part, the US also said in its statement that the Agency now says it has no further questions related to two of the four sites at this stage, but this does not constitute the ‘closure’ of these files, as some have inaccurately claimed. Furthermore, the agency reports show no progress towards resolving the remaining outstanding safeguards issues pertaining to Turquzabad and Varamin sites.”
What is the whole story of ‘undeclared locations’ about?
As a member state to the IAEA, Iran is obliged to declare the locations where it carries out its nuclear activities. Recent reports by the IAEA, however, pointed out that there have been found traces of low-enriched uranium in three locations where Iran has not declared to the agency, including Marivan, Turquzabad, and Varamin.
While Western countries believe Iran has been conducting illegal nuclear activities in those sites, Tehran strongly argues that all its nuclear program from top to bottom is peaceful and in line with its IAEA commitments.
Last month, the IAEA approved Iran’s argument and announced in a statement that it has resolved nuclear issues with Iran relating to one of three sites being investigated over the presence of uranium particles.
Iran and US may soon conclude a nuclear deal, the worst news for Israel!
As the IAEA Board of Governors refused to issue a resolution against Iran, there are reports suggesting that Tehran and Washington have been in close, yet indirect, contact with each other to reach an interim agreement over Iran’s nuclear activities.
This Tuesday, for example, Haaretz reported that Israel expects an interim agreement to be reached within a few weeks, expected to include an Iranian agreement to stop uranium enrichment at high levels in return for releasing Iran’s frozen funds in Iraq and South Korea.
“In an effort to reach an agreement on a nuclear deal, the contacts between the United States and Iran have made major progress in the past few days,” the report said, adding that “Israeli defense officials believe the talks are moving forward more rapidly than expected, with the possibility that the two sides will reach an agreement within weeks”.
This could be the worst news possible for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he has been ceaselessly trying during recent months to get the US agreement to play Tel Aviv’s game and restore to maximum pressure against Iran and its nuclear activities.