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Iran is pressed on uranium traces and inspector access in a draft IAEA resolution from Europe.

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June 4, Vienna (Reuters) – The Board of Governors of the U.N. nuclear watchdog has received a draft resolution from European powers pleading with Iran to rectify its recent limitations on inspectors and provide an explanation for uranium traces discovered at facilities it has not notified. The draft, which Reuters saw, comes after an 18-month-old resolution that called on Tehran to cooperate with an inquiry by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Iran’s prompt cooperation is demanded in the revised text, along with permission for the IAEA to collect the required samples. It also calls for a reversal and the execution of a March 2023 cooperation agreement. It covers recent difficulties, such as Iran’s exclusion of numerous IAEA uranium-enrichment experts.

The language reads, “(The Board) Calls on Iran to provide sufficient cooperation with the Agency and take the essential and urgent actions as decided by the Board in its November 2022 resolution, to resolve safeguards issues which remain outstanding despite numerous interactions with the Agency since 2019.”

Iran’s nuclear leader, Mohammad Eslami, told the semi-official Fars news agency that his country would respond if the resolution succeeds.

Citing Iran’s non-cooperation and expanding nuclear program, the E3 (Britain, France, and Germany) are pressing on with the resolution despite U.S. concerns that it would incite Iran to escalate its nuclear activities. The only countries that might oppose the resolution, according to the E3, are China and Russia.

IAEA measures show that Iran’s uranium enrichment has reached 60% purity, near weapons grade, with enough material for three nuclear bombs if further refined. While Iran insists its nuclear goals are peaceful, Western governments contend that such enrichment levels have no plausible civilian application.

The draft indicates that IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi may compile a thorough report, putting more pressure on Tehran, if Iran refuses to cooperate. It states, “Continued failure by Iran to provide the necessary, full and unambiguous cooperation with the Agency to resolve all outstanding safeguards issues may necessitate the production, by the Director General, of a comprehensive and updated assessment on the possible presence or use of undeclared nuclear material.”

This resolution is an important step in the process of developing international nuclear policy, as the 35-nation Board of Governors meets on a quarterly basis.

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