The West hesitates over Iran's nuclear crackdown due to the Gaza war

The West hesitates over Iran’s nuclear crackdown due to the Gaza war

Diplomats say Western countries are taking a tougher stance against Iran, fearing worsening tensions in the Middle East as the country expands its nuclear program and reduces cooperation with the United Nations watchdog. He is said to be reluctant to do so.

Concerns about a broader regional conflict have grown since Hamas’s shocking October 7 attack and Israel’s retaliatory shelling and ground attacks aimed at wiping out Palestinian militants in Gaza.

At the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board meeting in Vienna this week, the United States and the so-called E3 group (France, Germany and Britain) criticized the Iranian government’s lack of cooperation.

Despite emphasizing that Iran’s actions “pushed unprecedented boundaries,” he decided not to submit a binding resolution.

“The situation is quite bleak, but the fact is that there is currently no appetite to provoke a response from Iran against the backdrop of the Middle East wars,” a senior diplomat said, summing up the current impasse.

Israel said Hamas had breached Gaza’s militarized border, killing about 1,200 people and capturing about 240 Israelis and foreign hostages.

The Hamas government in the Gaza Strip said that about 15,000 people had been killed in Israeli retaliatory and ground attacks.

– “A very serious blow” –

The 2015 agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief began to unravel in 2018, when then-President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the deal and reimposed sanctions.

Iran retaliated by increasing its nuclear activities.

European-led negotiations have been on hold since 2022, and efforts to revive the agreement have so far been fruitless.

A confidential IAEA report last week showed that Iran now has 60 percent enriched uranium (just short of weapons grade), enough to theoretically make three bombs.

“It’s a considerable amount of money if it’s not going to be used for anything in particular,” said one diplomatic source.

Iran has repeatedly denied developing nuclear weapons.

Iran has been slow to reinstall IAEA surveillance equipment it cut off last year, and recently revoked the accreditation of several agency inspectors.

Diplomats said eight French and German inspectors were affected by the Iranian government’s decision.

Earlier this year, another IAEA inspector (Russian) was banned from entering the country after discovering technical modifications to a centrifuge that had caused the enrichment to reach 84%.


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