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Iran nuclear deal

US warns Tehran against turning off IAEA cameras as resolution to censure Iran passes

China and Russia were the only countries to vote against the move, which calls for Tehran to answer questions about traces of nuclear material found at three different sites across the country.

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The UN watchdog agency approved a resolution put forth by the US and European allies on Wednesday calling for Iran to take action on an “urgent basis” to fulfill its legal obligations toward the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), while Washington stressed it was not looking for any escalation.

The resolution to censure Iran was approved overwhelmingly. China and Russia were the only countries to vote against the move, which calls for Tehran to answer questions about traces of nuclear material found at three different sites across the country.

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“It is essential that Iran provide the IAEA with all information and documents deemed necessary by the IAEA in order to clarify and resolve its questions,” US Ambassador to the IAEA Laura Holgate said at the board of governors meeting earlier in the day.

“We are not taking this action to escalate a confrontation for political purposes. We seek no such escalation,” she added.

The US had been holding off on such a move against Iran at the IAEA with the hopes that it would be able to convince Iran to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, which the US withdrew from under former US President Donald Trump.

But recent reports from the IAEA over the unexplained presence of uranium particles at three different sites in Iran have raised fears in Washington that Tehran is inching closer to being able to acquire a nuclear weapon.

Turquzabad, Varamin, and Marivan are the three different sites that the IAEA has raised questions over.

And in recent days, Iran has threatened to respond to any attempts to criticize it at the IAEA board of governors meeting. Now Iran says it will remove IAEA surveillance cameras inside Iran.

Holgate warned that if Iran reduced transparency in response to the latest resolution, it would be counterproductive to the diplomatic outcome the US was looking for. “Restricting IAEA access and attempts to paint the IAEA as politicized for simply doing its job will serve no purpose,” she said.

“Iran must cooperate with the IAEA to allow it to fulfill its verification and monitoring mandate without further delay,” Holgate said. “Again, we do not seek escalation. Instead, we seek credible explanations, consistent with Iran’s safeguards obligations, that can finally put these issues behind us.”

Read more: Lebanon-based hackers linked to Iran’s government targeted Israeli groups: Microsoft

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