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Iranian diplomat calls IAEA statement ‘shameful’

The United States and its European allies want answers from Iran regarding uranium traces found at undeclared sites.
Newspaper stall with a view of Etemad newspaper's front page bearing a title reading in Farsi "The night of the end of the JCPOA,"

A top Iranian diplomat has lashed out at the US and Europe after two-thirds of the UN nuclear watchdog's board of governors endorsed a resolution pressuring Tehran.

What happened: In 2019, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said it found traces of uranium at undeclared sites in Iran. The Islamic Republic subsequently said that it explained the discovery, but the United Nations-affiliated nuclear watchdog remains unconvinced. 

In June, the IAEA’s Board of Governors passed a resolution expressing concern that the uranium traces remain unexplained. This was the first censure by the IAEA of Iran since 2020. On Wednesday, a majority of the member states on the board endorsed a nonbinding statement from the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom and France further pressing Iran on the issue, Reuters reported. 

There are 35 members of the Board of Governors this year, including all five permanent members of the UN Security Council. 

Egypt, India and Pakistan were among the board members to vote against the statement, according to Reuters.

Iran’s top diplomat in the UK reacted angrily to the statement Thursday. 

“With continued terrorist acts & sanctions by #US-Israel against Iran & failure at the IAEA, #US, UK, Germany & France initiated a shameful controversial statement against Iran’s legal remedy measures; hypocritical acts contradict & subvert outlook of a deal negotiated with bona fides,” Mehdi Hosseini Matin tweeted.

Why it matters: The dispute comes as negotiations over the Iran nuclear deal appear to be stalling. American officials are saying an imminent return to the deal is unlikely. Fatigue among the different negotiators could be among the reasons, Ali Hashem wrote for Al-Monitor Tuesday. 

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