Russia warns UN nuclear agency against adopting ‘stupid’ resolution against Iran

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file picture shows a session of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria. (Photo by IAEA)

Russia’s Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov has warned the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) against adopting a resolution against Iran at a session of its Board of Governors.

Ulyanov, in a series of posts published on his Twitter page on Wednesday, stated that the UN nuclear agency’s board faces a “great challenge” at the upcoming session on the Iranian nuclear program, during which an anti-Iran resolution is set to be put to vote.

The Russian diplomat warned that any hostile move by the IAEA’s Board of Governors against Iran would undermine prospects for the restoration of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the 2015 Iran nuclear deal is formally named.

#IAEA Governors at their on-going session face a great challenge. They really can contribute to strengthening the global non-proliferation regime and restoration of #JCPOA. They also can decide not to oppose highly risky political experiments. The Governors have to make a choice.

— Mikhail Ulyanov (@Amb_Ulyanov) March 2, 2021

They “can really contribute to” the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and its promotion worldwide besides revival of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal,” he said. “They also can decide not to oppose highly risky political experiments. The Governors have to make a choice.”

He explained, “When I say “a highly risky political experiment” I mean an adoption of a stupid resolution which can undermine the prospects for a restoration of #JCPOA exactly at the moment when this task becomes very much feasible.”

When I say “a highly risky political experiment” I mean an adoption of a stupid resolution which can undermine the prospects for a restoration of #JCPOA exactly at the moment when this task becomes very much feasible. https://t.co/EXq8HYyYHc

— Mikhail Ulyanov (@Amb_Ulyanov) March 3, 2021

Ulyanov further noted that the adoption of a hasty anti-Iran resolution at the IAEA board will mess up the current situation and would possibly precipitate an international crisis.

“Our advise: if you are not ready to be associated with a possible international crisis, let’s refrain from hasty actions. Let’s give a chance for diplomacy,” he told the IAEA Board members.

I can sympathise with my fellow #IAEA colleagues who have to decide how to address #Iran during the on- going BoG session. Our advise: if you are not ready to be associated with a possible international crisis, let’s refrain from hasty actions. Let’s give a chance for diplomacy.

— Mikhail Ulyanov (@Amb_Ulyanov) March 3, 2021

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told a parliamentary hearing on Tuesday that Paris and its Western allies were planning to lodge a protest with the IAEA against Iran’s reduced cooperation with the nuclear agency and the steps it has taken away from the JCPOA in response to the US withdrawal and the re-imposition of the sanctions that the accord had lifted.

“The nuclear tensions will lead us in the coming days to put forward a protest in the framework of the IAEA Board of Governors to regret this decision,” he said.

“The situation is complicated,” Le Drian said. “The problem is to know who goes first and nobody wants to be trapped. The fact that the Iranians suspended the Additional Protocol is not good news,” he said, referring to Iran’s move last month to curb IAEA inspections.

The IAEA’s 35-nation Board of Governors is holding a quarterly meeting this week against the backdrop of faltering efforts to revive Iran’s nuclear deal now that US President Joe Biden is in office. A vote on the anti-resolution is due by the end of the week.

Iran has warned that adoption of a resolution against Iran will make a mess of the status quo with regard to the JCPOA.

“The Europeans triggered a wrong move with the backing of the US at the IAEA Board of Governors. We think the move will make a mess of the situation,” Zarif said.

He noted that Iran has already informed the IAEA Board of Governors of the potential consequences of an anti-Iran resolution.

Last month, Iran stopped the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol to the NPT Safeguards Agreement that allowed the IAEA to carry out short-notice inspections of the country’s nuclear facilities, following a deadline set by Tehran for the removal of the US sanctions.

Tehran made the move in response to almost three years of heavy sanctions by the US after former US president Donald Trump unilaterally pulled his country out of the JCPOA. Since the US withdrawal, the three European parties to the deal backed away from their own commitments as well, but they showed up at the scene again after Biden entered the White House.

On Sunday, Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) director Ali Akbar Salehi also warned the IAEA board against adopting a resolution against Iran, saying such a move would prompt Iran to reciprocate. 

“If the Board of Governors adopts a resolution against Iran, we will show an appropriate reaction,” Salehi said, adding that Tehran has sent a letter to the nuclear agency on the issue.


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