Spokesman of Iran’s Foreign Ministry Saeed Khatibzadeh said that a draft resolution to be put forward at the meeting of the United Nations nuclear watchdog’s Board of Governors on Thursday was dropped due to intensive diplomatic efforts made by Iranian officials in Tehran, Vienna, and the capitals of all members of the Board of Governors.
Earlier in the day, Reuters reported that the EU trio (Britain, France and Germany) scraped the US-backed plan for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board to pass a resolution criticizing Iran for scaling down its cooperation with the agency.
Commenting on the latest developments in the UN nuclear watchdog’s Board of Governors regarding the controversial resolution against Iran, Khatibzadeh said that the new decision would save the road to diplomacy, already opened by Iran and the IAEA, and would pave the way for all JCPOA [acronym for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] parties to honor their commitments in full, IRNA reported.
Iran hopes that the JCPOA participants could guarantee the full implementation of the JCPOA by everyone by taking this opportunity and with serious cooperation, he reiterated.
Gharibabadi reacts to IAEA's BoGs developments
Iran's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Vienna-based international organizations, Kazem Gharibabadi, also commented on the latest devlopmnents at the IAEA’s Board of Governors telling reporters on Thursday in a short briefing that the process of issuing an anti-Iran resolution has been stopped "as a result of extensive diplomatic efforts,” Mehr News Agency wrote.
He added, “Eventually, cooler heads are prevailing.”
Gharibabadi criticized the politically motivated actions and abuse of the IAEA and praised the vigilance and measures of the IAEA members, especially the Board of Governors and the Director-General, for their efforts to avoid unnecessary tensions and to leave the door open for diplomacy.
It had been revealed to the media in recent days that the E3 were to discuss the US-backed anti-Iran draft resolution at the IAEA’s Board of Governors ongoing meeting. The plan was expected to face a vote on Friday.
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 Action (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.
IAEA no place for ‘political game’
Earlier on Thursday, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani warned against politicizing Iran's nuclear issue at the IAEA stressing that the agency is not a place for “political games”.
According to Mehr News Agency, President Rouhani made the remarks while speaking on the sidelines of an inauguration ceremony in Tehran. He added, "As always, I repeat that the nuclear activities of the Islamic Republic are 100% peaceful and we want the IAEA to carry out its monitoring activities conveniently, and if the IAEA sees that it is still far from its desired actions, the problem is caused by the United States."
He said that European countries should allow Iran and the IAEA to continue their technical work “because Tehran has signed a very good agreement with the IAEA and after the law was passed by [Iran’s] parliament, good cooperation has been established between Iran and the IAEA, and the Europeans had better allow this agreement to continue and continue its own path."
The Iranian president concluded that "If the United States lifts sanctions, our relationship with the IAEA will become even warmer and in that case, the IAEA inspections will be pursued and any monitoring will be carried out in accordance with the law."
US groups call for Washington’s return to JCPOA
Another report coming from Washington on Thursday said that 32 American groups have called on US President Joe Biden's administration to immediately return to the 2015 nuclear deal.
In a letter to the White House, the 32 groups warned that the passage of time would make it harder to return to the deal, The Hill reported on Thursday.
They argued that Washington’s position that Iran should first reduce its uranium enrichment levels, the groups noted that this position can be an obstacle to negotiations, IRNA wrote.
In the letter addressed to the US government, they said that “we support your adherence to policy", but the truth of the matter is that the US first violated the agreement. So it makes sense to expect the US to take at least symmetrical steps with Iran to return to the deal."