The United States is threatening to escalate with Iran in the IAEA next month

A cleaning staff is working ahead of a press conference attended by IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi at an IAEA Board meeting in Vienna, Austria, on 13 September 2021. REUTERS / Leonhard Foeger

Sign up now for FREE unlimited access to

VIENNA, November 25 (Reuters) – The United States on Thursday threatened to confront Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency next month if it no longer cooperates with the watchdog – an escalation that could undermine negotiations to revive a 2015 superpower agreement with Iran.

Tehran is stuck in several battles with the IAEA, whose 35-nation board is holding a quarterly meeting this week.

Then-President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the 2015 agreement that lifted sanctions in return for restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activities. He reintroduced disabling sanctions, after which Tehran gradually expanded its nuclear work and reduced cooperation with the IAEA.

Sign up now for FREE unlimited access to

Iran denies IAEA access to reinstall surveillance cameras at a workshop in the TESA Karaj complex. The IAEA also wants answers to the origins of uranium particles found in seemingly ancient but undeclared sites, and says Iran continues to subject its inspectors to “excessively invasive physical searches.”

“If Iran’s lack of cooperation is not immediately remedied … the board will have no choice but to meet for an extraordinary meeting before the end of this year to resolve the crisis,” a US statement to the Governing Body said.

It said it “particularly” referred to the reinstallation of IAEA cameras at the Karaj workshop, which makes parts for advanced uranium-enriching centrifuges.

This workshop was hit by apparent sabotage in June, which Iran says was an attack by its arch-enemy Israel.

One of four IAEA cameras installed there was destroyed and its footage is missing. Iran removed all cameras after the incident. Israel has not commented on the incident.

IAEA chief Rafael Grossi said Wednesday that he did not know if the workshop was up and running again and that time was running out to reach an agreement.

An extraordinary board meeting will most likely aim to pass a resolution against Iran, a diplomatic escalation that is likely to antagonize Tehran.

It could jeopardize indirect negotiations between Iran and the United States to revive the 2015 agreement, which is due to resume on Monday.

Sign up now for FREE unlimited access to

Reporting by Francois Murphy; Edited by Kevin Liffey

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


Leave a Comment