The UK has joined the US, France and Germany in submitting a motion to the UN atomic energy watchdog to censure Iran over its lack of cooperation with the agency.

The resolution, the first since a similar motion in 2020, urges Iran to cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Although it doesn’t threaten any specific action, it demonstrates growing impatience from Western powers keen to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement after talks stalled in March.

In a joint statement to the IAEA’s Board of Governors, which meets this week, Britain, France and Germany said they “strongly urge Iran to stop escalating its nuclear program and to urgently conclude (the) deal that is on the table.”

“Its nuclear program is now more advanced than at any point in the past,” they said, adding Iran’s accumulation of enriched uranium has no “credible civilian justification.”

IAEA head Rafael Grossi told reporters on Monday that it would be “a matter of just a few weeks” before Iran could get sufficient material needed for a nuclear weapon if they continued to develop their programme.

China and Russia — who with Britain, France and Germany are parties to the Iran nuclear deal — have warned that any resolution could disrupt the negotiation process.

“Russia will not associate itself with such a resolution,” Russia’s ambassador to the UN in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, said in a tweet late Monday.

It comes in the same week as the IAEA warned that Iran’s removal of 27 surveillance from some of its nuclear sites “would be a fatal blow” to negotiations.

Rafael Mariano Grossi, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said the move poses a “serious challenge” to its efforts, warning that in three to four weeks, it would be unable to maintain a “continuity of knowledge” about Iran’s programme.

The negotiations to revive the accord started in April 2021 with the aim of bringing the United States back into the deal, lifting sanctions and getting Iran to scale back its stepped-up nuclear program.

Source: Times of Israel

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