Britain, France and Germany have withdrawn their support for a U.S.-backed plan for the International Atomic Energy Agency’s board to criticize Iran for curtailing its cooperation with the agency, Reuters reported on Thursday.
The three countries were signatories to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal—the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—and have been pushing for the nuclear watchdog’s board of governors to pass a resolution at this week’s quarterly meeting criticizing Tehran for its violations of the deal. The draft resolution had expressed the agency’s “deep concern” over Tehran’s failure to explain the presence of uranium particles at three undeclared sites, according to the report.
In response, the Islamic regime threatened to end a temporary agreement reached with the agency last month allowing for some monitoring of its facilities to continue.
Its parliament approved a bill in December according to which some U.N. inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities stipulated by the JCPOA would be suspended unless European signatories to the deal lifted oil and banking sanctions by Feb. 23. IAEA director general Rafael Grossi met with Iranian Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Feb. 21 in Tehran to try to find an acceptable compromise.
As he explained on March 1 in his opening address to the IAEA board meeting, “We were able to reach a temporary bilateral technical understanding. I want to emphasize that it is a temporary technical understanding and that it is compatible with Iranian law. It is to enable the agency to resume its full verification and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA if and when Iran resumes its implementation of those commitments.”
“Cooler heads are prevailing,” said a diplomat from a country on the IAEA board that was critical of the planned resolution, according to Reuters.
Reuters quoted another diplomat as saying that the resolution could be revived at the next quarterly board meeting in June.