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U.N. nuclear watchdog's board to meet on Iran at request of U.S.

U.N. nuclear watchdog's board to meet on Iran at request of U.S.
FILE PHOTO: The Iranian flag flutters in front the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna, Austria March 4, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo -
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Leonhard Foeger(Reuters)
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VIENNA (Reuters) – The United States has called an emergency meeting of the U.N. atomic watchdog’s 35-nation Board of Governors to discuss Iran, the U.S. mission to the agency said on Friday, after Tehran breached its 2015 nuclear deal with major powers.

Any country on the board can call a meeting, and the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed in a note to member states that the meeting would be held next Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. (1230 GMT) after the IAEA this week said Iran had exceeded the maximum stock of enriched uranium allowed under the deal.

“Today … U.S. Ambassador to International Organizations in Vienna Jackie Wolcott requested a special meeting of the Board to discuss the IAEA Director General’s latest, concerning report on the Iranian regime’s nuclear program,” the U.S. mission said in a statement, referring to the IAEA’s report on Monday. “The international community must hold Iran’s regime accountable.”

What exactly the meeting would achieve, however, was unclear, diplomats said.

Parties to the deal have a separate forum they meet in called the Joint Commission, and the deal lays out possible action that can be taken there. Washington pulled out of both the deal and the Joint Commission last year.

The IAEA is in charge of verifying the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activities imposed by the deal, which also lifted international sanctions against Tehran. The IAEA has repeatedly said it is up to the parties to the deal to decide whether there has been a breach of its terms.

Iran has said it will go over the deal’s nuclear restrictions one by one in retaliation against crippling economic sanctions Washington has imposed on it since the U.S. withdrawal. It has said that as of July 7 it will enrich uranium beyond the 3.67% purity cap imposed by the deal.

Other signatories to the 2015 deal, apart from Iran and the United States, are Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany. Those five countries are trying to keep the deal alive.

(Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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