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Iran vows response if UN nuclear watchdog approves censure

Iran threatened to respond Tuesday if the UN nuclear watchdog approves a new censure resolution proposed by three European governments despite the opposition of the United States, Iranian media reported. “In case of issuing a resolution against Iran in the board of governors and political pressure from the parties, Iran will respond according to the announcement it made to them,” the Fars news agency quoted Iran’s atomic energy chief Mohammad Eslami as saying. Britain, France and Germany submitted a draft resolution to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s board on Monday, condemning Iran for its failure to fully cooperate with the watchdog and demanding more accountability. At the last IAEA board meeting in March, European powers shelved their plans to confront Iran due to a lack of US support. The United States denies it is hampering European efforts to hold Iran accountable but fears a censure could aggravate Middle East tensions ahead of a US presidential election in November, diplomats say. Tensions have soared since Iran-backed Palestinian militant group Hamas attacked Israel last October triggering war in Gaza. In April, an Israeli air strike on Iran’s Damascus consulate killed seven Revolutionary Guards, prompting Iran to carry out its first ever direct attack on Israel, a barrage of rockets and missiles most of which were intercepted. The IAEA board has not passed a resolution criticizing the country since November 2022, when Iran responded by stepping up its enrichment of uranium. Iran suspended its compliance with caps on its nuclear activities set by a landmark 2015 deal with major powers after the United States unilaterally withdrew from the agreement in 2018 and reimposed sweeping sanctions. Eslami said based on the deal “if the other parties do not return to their commitments, Iran has the right to reciprocally reduce its obligations, and now the country is in the phase of reducing them.” Tensions between Iran and the IAEA have flared repeatedly since the deal fell apart, and EU-brokered efforts to bring Washington back on board have so far failed. Alarabiya

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.