Mar 02, 2021 14:47 UTC
  • Russia actively working to defuse tensions over Iran’s peaceful nuclear program at IAEA session: Envoy

A senior Russian diplomat says Moscow is actively working to defuse tensions over Iran’s peaceful nuclear program amid attempts by Britain, France and Germany to press ahead with a US-backed plan for a resolution criticizing Tehran for suspension of some inspections by the UN nuclear agency.

The International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) 35-nation Board of Governors is holding a quarterly meeting this week against the backdrop of efforts to preserve the multilateral nuclear agreement signed between Iran and major powers in 2015 — officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

In a post on his Twitter account on Tuesday, Mikhail Ulyanov, the Russian ambassador to international organizations in Vienna, said, “The main intrigue of the current session of the # IAEA Board of Governors is whether the upcoming discussions will help defuse the situation around the Iranian nuclear program, or will aggravate the situation even more.”

The Russian diplomat said his country is “actively working in favor of the 1st scenario.”

Russia warned on Monday that a resolution critical of Iran could hurt efforts to revive the JCPOA.

“Adoption of the resolution will not help the political process of returning to the normal comprehensive implementation of the JCPOA,” Russia said in a note addressed to other member states of the IAEA.

Iran has warned against the adoption of the anti-Iran resolution, with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif saying that the Islamic Republic has some options to take in case “reason does not prevail” on the other side.

Iran made the move in response to almost three years of heavy illegal sanctions the US imposed on Tehran after former US president Donald Trump unilaterally pulled his country out of the JCPOA.

Since the US withdrawal, the three European parties to the deal backed away from their own commitments as well, but they showed up at the scene again after Joe Biden became president.