Creating new perspectives since 2009

Iran vows to respond to any IAEA condemnation

June 5, 2024 at 10:08 am

Chief of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran Mohammad Eslami in Vienna, Austria on 20 September 2021 [JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images]

Iran threatened yesterday to respond if the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) adopts a new resolution condemning the Islamic Republic proposed by three European countries, despite US reservations about it.

Iran’s atomic energy chief Mohammad Eslami was quoted by Fars news agency as saying that Iran will respond “accordingly” to any announcement made by the IAEA.

Britain, France and Germany presented a draft resolution to the IAEA Board of Governors on Monday, condemning Iran for its failure to cooperate fully with the agency and demanding more accountability regarding Tehran’s nuclear programme. During the Board’s last quarterly meeting in March, European powers postponed their plans to confront Iran because they did not receive Washington’s support.

Diplomats say that Washington denies hindering European efforts to hold Iran accountable, but fears that such a move could exacerbate tensions in the Middle East ahead of the US presidential election in November.

Regional tension has escalated since the Israeli war started against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in October. An air strike attributed to Israel on the Iranian consulate in Damascus in April killed seven members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Tehran responded by launching its first ever direct attack on Israel, launching a barrage of missiles and drones, most of which were intercepted.

The IAEA’s Board of Governors has not passed a resolution criticising the Islamic Republic since November 2022, when Iran responded by increasing uranium enrichment.

Iran has not implemented most of its obligations to restrict its nuclear activities under its historic 2015 agreement with major powers after the US withdrew from the deal in 2018 and re-imposed harsh sanctions on Tehran. According to Eslami, based on the agreement, “If the other parties do not return to their commitments, Iran has the right to reduce its obligations reciprocally, and now the country is in the phase of reducing them.”

Tensions between Iran and the IAEA have soured repeatedly since the deal collapsed, and EU-brokered efforts to bring Washington back on board have failed so far.

READ: Ahmadinejad seeks to become Iran’s president for 3rd term