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IAEA board of governors condemns Iran over nuclear material found at three undeclared sites

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Rafael Grossi attends an IAEA board of governors meeting in Vienna, Austria, June 6, 2022. (Photo: REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger)

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board of governors adopted a resolution condemning Iran on Wednesday. The United States, along with Germany, France and the United Kingdom, submitted the draft resolution following a report which claimed that traces of nuclear material were found at three undeclared Iranian sites.

Iran deemed the report as “unfair” and “unbalanced,” yet failed to provide answers to IAEA inspectors.

Whereas 30 countries voted to censure Iran, Russia and China voted against the resolution. India, Libya and Pakistan abstained. 

The resolution "expresses profound concern" that the traces remain unexplained because of a lack of cooperation by Iran and calls on Iran to engage with the watchdog "without delay".

Israel has also invested efforts behind the scenes to push for the condemnation. On Thursday, Rafael Grossi, the head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog, arrived in Israel for meetings prior to the crucial vote by the 35-nation board. 

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett welcomed the decision by the IAEA's Board Governors. In a statement he said, "This is a significant decision that exposes Iran's true face."

Bennett added that the resolution "determines that Iran is neither cooperating with the IAEA nor obeying its directives and is thus preventing the agency from fulfilling its important function and acting against military nuclear activity."

He hailed the many countries that voted in favor of the decision and cooperated in order to block and prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons.

"Today's IAEA vote is a clear warning light to Iran: If Iran continues its activity, the leading countries must bring the matter back to the UN Security Council," said Bennett.

The 35-nation board of governors convened for an intentionally closely watched discussion over the report on Iran’s nuclear development. In it, the UN watchdog also claimed that Tehran has amassed a sufficient amount of enriched uranium to build a nuclear weapon.

The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Mohammad Eslami, insisted that “Iran has no hidden or undocumented nuclear activities or undisclosed sites.”

He referred to the report as a “fake document” meant to maintain maximum pressure on Iran.

Earlier on Wednesday, ahead of the condemnation vote, the Islamic Republic preemptively announced that it was shutting down two IAEA cameras for surveillance of its nuclear program. In addition, Reuters reported that Iran has begun installing advanced IR-6 centrifuges in the underground enrichment at Natanz, as part of its expansion of work in the plant.  

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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