Tehran is getting closer to the bomb

The board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is meeting from Monday June 6 to Friday June 10 in Vienna, with a Western draft resolution on the program admonishing Iran, against a backdrop of deadlock in negotiations for restore the 2015 nuclear agreement. This text, drawn up by the United States and three European countries (United Kingdom, France and Germany), urges Tehran to “cooperate fully” with the IAEA.

Iran has warned against an initiative « non constructive », at a time when talks to resurrect the JCPOA (English acronym for the 2015 agreement) have stalled. The adoption of this resolution seems unlikely due to the opposition of Russia and China who invoke the need not to “Hinder the negotiation process”. In a tweet, Russian Ambassador Mikhail Ulyanov called for “redouble diplomatic efforts” instead of challenging Iran.

Traces of uranium at three undeclared sites

In a recent report, the IAEA denounced the lack of “satisfactory answers” et “technically credible” of Iran concerning traces of enriched uranium found at three undeclared sites in the country. Americans and Europeans, who had hitherto refrained from any critical resolution against Iran at the IAEA, are trying to put pressure on the Islamic Republic, which is freeing itself a little more from its nuclear commitments every day. Tehran limits its collaboration with the UN agency, responsible for ensuring the peaceful nature of its program.

According to two IAEA reports published on May 30, Iran has produced more than 43 kg of 60% highly enriched uranium. That’s enough fissile material to make a nuclear weapon if that uranium is then enriched to 90%, a process that could take just a few weeks.

The chances of restoring the 2015 Iran nuclear deal are slim, even US special envoy for Iran Robert Malley admits. In early March, negotiators managed to agree on a text covering the technical aspects, but the arrangement stumbles over bilateral issues involving the United States and Iran. Tehran demands, among other things, that the Revolutionary Guards no longer appear on the American blacklist of terrorist organizations. A concession difficult to accept for the Biden administration, due to opposition from Congress.

In a logic of one-upmanship, the supreme guide Ali Khamenei accused, Saturday June 4, “the enemy” to use “popular protests to strike at the Islamic system”. Last week, demonstrations took place in several cities to demand legal action against those responsible for the collapse of a building which killed at least 37 people in Abadan (in the west of the country).

Right to self-defense

“For the United States, a failure to negotiate would mean escalating sanctions and increased military and intelligence cooperation to deter Iran.estimates Ali Vaez, director of the Iran project at the International Crisis Group (ICG), on his account Twitter. For Iran, that will mean managing a struggling economy, amid recurring domestic discontent, while stepping up nuclear escalation and regional provocations to increase its influence. Hard to see how this ends well. »

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has said he is ready to use his “right to self-defense” to stop the Iranian nuclear program, following a meeting on Friday, June 4, with the director general of the IAEA, Rafael Grossi. A trip judged by the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, as “contrary to the principle of neutrality” of the United Nations organization.

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