IAEA passes critical resolution against Iran

It seeks access to two sites in the country

The board of governors at the UN’s nuclear watchdog passed a resolution critical of Iran on Friday, the first of its kind since 2012, as tension mounts over Tehran’s nuclear programme.

The resolution was put forward by European states and urges Tehran to provide inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with access to two sites in Iran to clarify whether undeclared nuclear activity took place there in the early 2000s.

It “calls on Iran to fully cooperate with the Agency and satisfy the Agency’s requests without any further delay, including by providing prompt access to the locations specified by the Agency”. Iran has been blocking access to the sites for months.

The resolution was carried by 25 votes in favour versus two against, with seven abstentions. Russia and China, both of which had spoken out against the prospect of a resolution earlier this week, voted against.

Iran’s Ambassador to the UN in Vienna Kazem Gharib Abadi’ told Friday’s meeting that the resolution will not “encourage Iran to grant access to the Agency based on fabricated and unfounded allegations”.

Even though the sites in question are not thought to be directly relevant to Iran’s current nuclear programme, the agency says it needs to know if activities going back almost two decades have been properly declared.

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