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U.N. Nuclear Agency Orders Iran to Cooperate as New Atomic Deal Looks Less Likely

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is the United Nations' nuclear watchdog, has voted to order Iran to cooperate with the agency's investigation into uranium traces found at three undeclared sites as a nuclear deal with the country appears to be less and less certain.

The resolution drafted by the United States, Britain, France and Germany says the board "decides it is essential and urgent" that Iran explain the origin of the uranium particles and more generally give the IAEA all the answers it requires.

"Iran must now provide the necessary cooperation, no more empty promises," the United States said in its statement to the board shortly before the resolution was adopted with 26 votes in favor, five abstentions and two countries absent, according to diplomats in the meeting. Only Russia and China voted against.

The resolution is not the first time the board has passed action against Iran, but the current resolution contains stronger wording that hints at possible diplomatic escalation down the line.

Lisa Daftari, an expert on Iranian relations and editor-in-chief of the Foreign Desk, told Fox News Digital that the recent IAEA development "calls into question" the Biden administration’s approach to Iran and provides evidence that any nuclear deal would be a deal with a partner who has not shown reason to be trusted.

"To date, the Biden administration has been pressured to put the deal on hold both because of the demands of the regime but more so because of the young Iranian protesters’ movement, which has been successful in gaining global attention," Daftari said. "A development like this once again underscores the importance of supporting the movement in Iran, which seeks to remove a government that cannot be trusted to lead its people or obtain nuclear weapons."

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