The UK, France, Germany, and the US debunked Tehran’s explanations on its nuclear dossier at the UN watchdog, the IAEA, wrapped up its discussions on Iran with no resolution.
On Wednesday, the E3 as well as the United States submitted separate statements to the International Atomic Energy Agency's board of governors over the Islamic Republic’s implementation of its obligations under its NPT Safeguards Agreement, noting that the answers that Tehran provided over the cases of uranium traces are not technically credible.
However, diplomats told Iran International’s Vienna correspondent that no resolution or even any specific statement to censure Iran’s activities and lack of cooperation is expected by the IAEA board of governors.
The E3 said Iran’s activities such as centrifuge configuration changes at Fordow without prior notice to the IAEA and detection of particles of uranium enriched at 83.7% took place in the context of over four years of a lack of substantive cooperation with the IAEA regarding possible undeclared nuclear material three undeclared locations in Iran two decades ago.
Referring to the three earlier resolutions by the IAEA board against Iran, the latest in November, the E3 said that the IAEA decided it is “essential and urgent” that Iran act to fulfil its legal obligations and clarify all outstanding safeguards issues without delay. "Iran’s longstanding lack of cooperation with the Agency, incremental and limited steps are neither sufficient nor satisfactory,” read the statement.
Calling on the IAEA to continue to demand full transparency from Iran on all outstanding safeguards issues, the E3 wondered why the agency’s assessment of the issues remains the same but the agency has no additional questions on the depleted uranium particles.
Agency’s assessment of Iran's activities was that it conducted explosive experiments at the Marivan site. This assessment has not changed yet.
The US said in its statement that “The Agency now says it has no further questions related to two of the four sites at this stage, but this does not constitute 'closure' of these files, as some have inaccurately claimed.”
The European states also expressed great concern that the agency reports no progress towards resolving the remaining outstanding safeguards issues pertaining to Turquzabad and Varamin sites.
“Unless and until Iran provides technically credible explanations to the Agency’s persisting outstanding questions, as reiterated by the November Resolution, the Agency will not be able to confirm the correctness and completeness of Iran’s declarations under its NPT Safeguards Agreement,” E3 added.
They went on to point out other issues such as limited steps towards reinstallation of enrichment monitoring devices at both Fordow and Natanz.
Echoing the same concerns, the US also said “Regrettably, Iran’s level of cooperation to date has fallen short.” “The absence of this assurance remains deeply concerning, especially considering more recent safeguards implementation issues in Iran,” it added.
The fact that despite all the open cases the IAEA board of governors did not issue any resolution against the Islamic Republic may be a sign that the regime is about to finalize a nuclear deal with the US behind the scenes.
During the past few weeks, reports have surfaced that Tehran and Washington have been in close – yet indirect – contact with each other to reach an interim agreement.
Earlier in the day, Haaretz reported that Israel expects an interim agreement to be reached within a few weeks, expected to include an Iranian agreement to stop uranium enrichment at high levels in return for releasing Iran's frozen funds.
After all, it was the US and the E3 that spearheaded past IAEA resolutions, and this time as in March, they sufficed by issuing statements.
Mehrzad Boroujerdi, vice provost and dean of College of Arts, Sciences and Education at Missouri University, told Iran International that considering the increasing communication between Tehran and Washington and the developments at the IAEA board meeting, the Haaretz’s report can be true.