IAEA Board Votes to Criticize Iran on Uranium Traces

Board members vote 30-2 with three abstaining

On the third day of a week-long meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors, the body passed a anti-Iran resolution related to the uranium traces at undeclared sites. The vote was 30-2, with three abstentions. Russia and China opposed.

The IAEA has been harping on having found unexplained traces of unenriched uranium at a pair of undeclared sites for years. Iran turned over what it said were all explaining documents last month, though the IAEA insists they are not satisfied with the explanation.

The resolution expresses “profound concern” at the lack of a sufficient explanation, and calls for Iran to explain some more. Though critical of Iran, it doesn’t appear the resolution has any enforcement power, beyond picking a fight with Iran.

In general, such a resolution would need to happen at the UN Security Council, but with both Russia and China opposing the vote, a veto would almost be unavoidable.

Iran had warned the IAEA about complaining on this topic, calling it a political matter. It doesn’t appear that Iran has any further explanations to offer.

In retaliation for the resolution, Iran has disconnected certain IAEA monitoring cameras at its facilities. The number of cameras and where are as yet unclear.

With no monitoring agreement in place, Iran was not obliged to keep those cameras there, and said it was a “goodwill” gesture before to have done so. Even then, there’s no agreement for the IAEA to get access to the footage, so in practice it means very little.

It’s not clear if this is the end of the topic of Iran at the current meeting. It seems unlikely further resolutions would happen there just now.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.