UN nuclear watchdog calls for censure of Iran over violations

·3 min read

World powers should censure Iran for stonewalling the United Nations nuclear inspectors, according to the watchdog agency’s chief.

International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Rafael Grossi's call for the global rebuke of Iran comes after months of Western powers avoiding action, fearing it might jeopardize President Joe Biden’s bid to broker a return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Grossi, who spent the week briefing U.S. lawmakers and officials on Iran’s violation of multiple agreements with the IAEA, was asked in public if he believes that “censure [is a] good idea” now and gave an affirmative, if laconic, answer.

“Yeah,” he replied, after a pause.

“It is?” Stimson Center president Brian Finlay repeated for confirmation, prompting Grossi to nod in assent.


Grossi’s support for a censure follows months of regular warnings to the IAEA Board of Governors, a 35-nation body that helps set policy for the nuclear agency, that Iran has failed to comply with multiple formal and informal agreements with the inspectors. Grossi has attempted to broker deals that would prevent “a total blackout” of IAEA inspections in Iran, but even those mitigation efforts have run aground.

“We have been keeping the patient stable as much as we can, in terms of the amount and quality of information that we can put on the table as a baseline, which is indispensable for any further negotiation,” Grossi said.

Iranian officials have refused for years to answer questions about missing nuclear material at three sites where it has never acknowledged conducting nuclear research. That lack of transparency has galvanized skepticism on Capitol Hill of Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s attempt to negotiate a rehabilitation of the 2015 nuclear deal.

“I don't know how we can go into any negotiation, and much less an agreement, unless Iran comes clean and we know what they did, what they're doing, and therefore you can move forward,” Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, told the Washington Examiner after inviting Grossi to brief lawmakers on the status of the Iranian nuclear file.

Iran has refused over the last four months to participate in a seventh round of “indirect talks” with the United States over the fate of the nuclear deal, prompting Blinken to warn that a failure to return to Vienna could soon force the United States to consider alternatives for curtailing Iran’s nuclear ambitions.


The stalling out of those talks has been attributed widely to the installment of a hard-line jurist as Iran’s new president this summer, but Grossi challenged that timeline by underscoring that Iran hardened its posture months

“Last December, there was a change in the rules of the game as much as IAEA work is concerned,” Grossi said. “A law was passed there in their parliament where a number of very ambitious goals and very specific objectives were set for the Iranian nuclear program. ... Secondly, they said, 'Well, the additional transparency measures that came together with the JCPOA [will be] terminated.'”

Washington Examiner Videos

Tags: News, Foreign Policy, National Security, Iran Nuclear Deal, Biden

Original Author: Joel Gehrke

Original Location: UN nuclear watchdog calls for censure of Iran over violations

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting