What Happened: The United Nations' nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA), adopted a resolution that calls on Iran to allow it access to two nuclear sites within the country, Reuters reported June 19. The resolution was submitted by the so-called E3 bloc consisting of France, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Why It Matters: The IAEA resolution highlights Iran’s strained relationship with its European allies. Despite U.S. sanctions pressure, Iran has made steady progress in developing its civil nuclear program in recent years. Over time, Iran’s continued provocative nuclear actions risks pushing its European allies toward supporting the United States’ maximum pressure campaign.
Background: On June 18, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif insisted that Iran had allowed "more inspections [to its nuclear sites] over the past five years than in [the history of the IAEA]." China and Russia both opposed the new U.N. resolution against Iran, with the Russian ambassador to the IAEA calling it "counterproductive."
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