The Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency voted overwhelmingly to rebuke the Iranian government for failing to fully answer questions about traces of uranium which were found at three undeclared sites in Iran.
The vote was taken on June 8 after IAEA Director Rafael Grossi submitted a report to the Board citing Iran’s lack of cooperation with an IAEA investigation into the matter. At a press briefing on June 6, Director General Grossi said, "Iran has not provided explanations that are technically credible in relation to the Agency's findings at three undeclared locations in Iran." He also noted that Iran is just a few weeks away from having a "significant quantity” of highly enriched uranium.
Thirty out of thirty-five countries voted in favor of the IAEA resolution. Two countries, Russia and China, voted against it; and three, India, Pakistan and Libya, abstained.
The United States, in a joint statement with France, Germany and the United Kingdom, welcomed the IAEA’s resolution “responding to Iran’s insufficient cooperation with the IAEA on serious and outstanding safeguards issues relating to Iran’s obligations under its NPT-required safeguards agreement.”
The four countries said the overwhelming majority vote for the resolution “sends an unambiguous message to Iran that it must meet its safeguards obligations and provide technically credible clarifications on outstanding safeguards issues.”
The United States, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom urged Iran “to heed the call of the international community to fulfill its legal obligations and cooperate with the IAEA to fully clarify and resolve issues without further delay.”
The adoption of the IAEA resolution comes during a pause in negotiations between Iran and the P5 +1 countries over the United States' and Iran’s return to full implementation of the nuclear deal, known formally as the JCPOA. The year-long talks in Vienna have stalled in recent weeks over non-nuclear issues that are outside the purview of the JCPOA.
White House Spokesperson Karine Jeanne-Pierre said the United States regards the IAEA’s nuclear safeguards issue to be on a separate track from the P5+1 negotiations. “There is a deal on the table that would effectuate a compliance-for-compliance return to the JCPOA without dealing with extraneous issues. That deal is available to Iran,” she said. “They should take it.”