Israel Calls on International Nuclear Watchdog to Send Iran ‘Clear Warning’ as Western Nations Pursue Condemnatory Resolution
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Tuesday that he expects the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to issue a clear warning to Iran over its nuclear program.
“We expect the Board of Governors will issue a clear warning sign before the regime in Tehran and make clear that if they continue their defiant nuclear policy, they will pay a heavy price,” Bennett said in televised remarks at a parliamentary committee meeting as the IAEA Governors began a five-day meeting in Vienna that ends on Friday.
Bennett last week met with IAEA chief Rafael Grossi ahead of the board’s meeting and told him Israel would prefer a diplomatic resolution to the standoff with Iran but it could take independent action.
In a separate development, the United States, Britain, Germany and France submitted a draft resolution to the IAEA Board criticizing Iran for not fully answering the watchdog’s questions on uranium traces at undeclared sites, a move that is likely to anger Iran.
Several diplomats said the resolution was likely to pass easily despite warnings by Iran of retaliation and consequences that could further undermine already stalled talks on rescuing the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Iran’s ally Russia opposes such a resolution.
The draft resolution text that was submitted said the board “expresses profound concern that the safeguards issues related to these three undeclared locations remain outstanding due to insufficient substantive cooperation by Iran, despite numerous interactions with the agency.”
The text, seen by Reuters, also said the board “calls upon Iran to act on an urgent basis to fulfill its legal obligations and, without delay, take up the (IAEA) director general’s offer of further engagement to clarify and resolve all outstanding safeguards issues.”
Indirect talks between Iran and the United States on reviving the 2015 deal have not been held since March.
Their aim is to bring both countries back into full compliance with the deal after a US withdrawal and re-imposition of sanctions in 2018 prompted Iran to breach many of the deal’s limits on its nuclear activities.
“Those who push for anti-Iran resolution at IAEA will be responsible for all the consequences,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said on Twitter on Sunday in a message about the talks.
Last week, Amirabdollahian said any political action by the United States and its three European allies at the IAEA “will undoubtedly be met with a proportionate, effective and immediate response from Iran.”