Britain's ambassador to the UN Barbara Woodward

Western Powers Vow to Stop Iran's Nuclear Advances, Warn of Reimposing Sanctions

Monday, 06/24/2024

The representatives of Western powers vowed in a UN Security Council meeting to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon using "all means necessary" including by reinstating the UN sanctions.

The E3 (Britain, France and Germany) may trigger the UN snapback mechanism that reinstates UN Security Council Resolution 2231 sanctions on Iran before October 2025, Britain's UN envoy Barbara Woodward told a Security Council briefing on Iran.

"In October next year, this resolution is due to expire and with it the right to reimpose UN sanctions on Iran. Given Iran’s dangerous advances which have brought it to the brink of being able to develop a weapon, this situation should be of grave concern for this Council," Woodward said.

"We will continue to keep all diplomatic options on the table, including triggering UN snapback before October 2025, if necessary," she warned.

The snapback mechanism was devised as part of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA). It would allow an individual participant of the deal to restore all UN sanctions on Tehran should it deem it to be in violation of the deal.

Addressing the same briefing, the United States' envoy to the United Nations said his country is prepared to take any action necessary to prevent Tehran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

US Envoy to the UN Robert Wood

"The US is prepared to use all means necessary to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran," the US' Alternative Representative for Special Political Affairs Robert Wood said.

Wood stressed that "Iran’s actions suggest it is not interested in verifiably demonstrating that its nuclear program is exclusively peaceful."

"Iran continues to deny the international community visibility into its nuclear activities. It obstructs IAEA efforts to resolve outstanding safeguards issues, and willfully hampers IAEA verification and monitoring activities," he said.

"When Iran flagrantly defies the Security Council repeatedly without consequence, and ignores the published concerns of the IAEA, it undermines the credibility and authority of this body, which is charged with advancing international peace and security," the US envoy said.

Wood's remarks come amid growing concern about Iran’s nuclear program, which has grown rapidly in the last few years, while access has been limited and many UN inspectors have been kept out.

Tehran is set to triple or even quadruple its uranium enrichment capacity at Fordow, one of the country's most secretive nuclear facilities, according to reports published by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) and the Washington Post Wednesday.

The Biden administration had earlier threatened to respond to Iran if it further accelerates its uranium enrichment.

Iran's disclosure of its plans comes after the IAEA member states approved a formal reprimand on June 5 in response to its nuclear defiance.

The IAEA Board of Governors resolution demanded Iran step up cooperation with the watchdog and reverse its recent barring of inspectors.

However, Iran’s top nuclear official made it clear on Sunday that the country's interactions with the UN nuclear watchdog are limited to the legal boundaries of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Safeguards.

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