Britain, France and Germany on Thursday scrapped a US-backed plan for the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors to pass a resolution against Iran this week criticizing Tehran for reducing its cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog.
According to Reuters, the IAEA said its chief Rafael Grossi would hold a news conference later in the day at 1100 GMT (15:30 Tehran time).
It did not give a reason, but diplomats said he told the IAEA’s 35-nation Board of Governors that the agency plans to hold technical discussions with Iran in April.
The E3 were to discuss the US-backed anti-Iran draft resolution at the IAEA’s Board of Governors ongoing meeting. However, Tehran has repeatedly announced that such a resolution would effectively end the temporary agreement that the IAEA chief worked out with the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) last month to mitigate what Grossi calls the "huge loss" of some inspections.
On February 26, AEOI Chief Ali Akbar Salehi warned that recordings from monitoring equipment that the IAEA installed at the country’s nuclear sites will be deleted if the United States does not lift its unilateral sanctions within the next three months.
Iran stopped its voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol on February 23. The halt came under the Strategic Action Plan to Counter Sanctions, a law passed last December by the Iranian Parliament, and added to Iran’s previous steps away from the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Actiion (JCPOA), in response to Washington’s unilateral withdrawal in 2018 and the other parties’ failure to fulfill their commitments.
In this regard, the IAEA and the AEOI reached a temporary bilateral technical understanding in February, under which the latter would continue to use cameras to record information at its nuclear sites for three months, but it would retain the information exclusively. If the US sanctions are lifted completely within that period, Iran will provide the footage information to the UN nuclear watchdog, otherwise, it will be deleted forever.
The anti-Iran draft resolution was expected to face a vote on Friday.
Earlier on Thursday, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani warned that IAEA is not a place for “political games”.
According to IRNA, President Rouhani reiterated, “JCPOA is a single text which had been agreed upon and we will have no renegotiation.”