The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today announced that its Board of Governors will hold a special meeting on Iran on 2 February in Vienna.
The meeting was requested by France, Germany and the United Kingdom – the so-called “EU-3” – in a letter today to the Chair of the Board to discuss the implementation of IAEA Safeguards in Iran and related Board resolutions.
The move comes a week after Tehran broke the IAEA seals on equipment used to produce enriched uranium, ending their suspension of those activities. Iran contends that it is only conducting research and development for peaceful purposes, but other countries, including the United States, suspect a clandestine effort to produce nuclear arms.
Last September, the Board of Governors found that Iran’s breaches of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) were within the competence of the Security Council, which can impose sanctions, but did not refer the matter to the 15-member body.
Earlier this week, IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei told Newsweek magazine that after three years of intensive work, the Agency cannot verify that Iran’s nuclear ambitions are entirely peaceful.
“If they have the nuclear material and they have a parallel weaponization programme along the way, they are really not very far – a few months – from a weapon,” he said.