UN nuclear watchdog holds special meeting on Iran



The UNs nuclear watchdog on Wednesday will hold a special meeting on Iran after the Islamic republic announced its second breach of the 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers.

The International Atomic Energy Agency's 35-nation board of Governors will hold talks in Vienna at the request of the US, which abandoned the pact last year and began imposing strict sanctions on Tehran, diplomatic sources told Efe news.

The convening members are not expected to adopt any resolutions on this occasion, although they could agree in a joint statement calling ton Tehran to backtrack its decision to breach the deal and expand its nuclear program, which it decided to do as a response reaction to US sanctions. 

Germany, France, Britain and the European Union expressed on Tuesday, called on Iran to return to full commitment of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

On Monday, the Vienna-based IAEA confirmed that Iran had exceeded the limits on its stockpile of low-enriched uranium, which can be used as fuel in nuclear reactors or to make atomic bombs. According to the deal, Tehran had to sell off any amount of uranium that surpassed the 300kg restriction. 

The UN agency said its inspectors verified that Iran's stockpile of UF6 was larger than allowed by the accord.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani on May 8 warned his country would begin to withdraw from key aspects of the agreement if global powers failed to keep their commitments within the next 60 days.

The 2015 agreement placed strict limits on Iran's nuclear program in order to prevent the country from building nuclear weapons, in return for lifting sanctions that had strangled its economy.

However, US President Donald Trump decided to the abandon the agreement - which was signed by his predecessor Barack Obama - in May 2018. His administration then reactivated sanctions against Iran and applied new restrictions targeting the country's oil and banking sectors. 

Rouhani marked the anniversary of Trump's decision by announcing himself that Iran would start to ignore some of the stipulations in the deal. IANS