IAEA chief to address Iran at key meeting on Monday

IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi will address the nuclear standoff with Iran before his agency’s Board of Governors meeting, his office announced on Thursday.

The announcement came as the Islamic Republic continued to threaten the agency and the West on Thursday with unspecified “strong” retaliation.

The US, France, Britain and Germany are pushing for the IAEA Board of Governors to condemn Iran for failing to resolve longstanding questions about illicit uranium traces at undeclared sites, according to a leaked draft resolution.

If the resolution is approved, it would mark only the second time the Islamic Republic has been condemned since before the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal was signed.

The last time was in June 2020, and it led Tehran to allow concessions to nuclear inspectors within less than two months.

All eyes will be on whether the West or Iran falter or if both sides stick to their guns.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian on Thursday praised his cooperation with the IAEA, saying that any political interference in the IAEA’s technical affairs is unhelpful.

“The process of technical cooperation between the AEOI with the IAEA and the repeated confirmation by the IAEA of the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program cannot be reversed at once by a hasty political comment,” Abdollahian said.

Some worry that the tough IAEA draft resolution could anger Iran, damage the prospects for rescuing the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and lead to retaliation.