In response, the Islamic Republic had earlier disconnected surveillance cameras installed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Washington immediately warned that this decision risked “further complicating” the talks in Vienna, already suspended since March.

The text tabled by the United States and the E3 (United Kingdom, France and Germany) is the first reprimand against Iran at the UN body since June 2020.

In a joint statement, the four countries “welcomed” the results of the vote and urged Iran to “respect its legal obligations”.

The resolution was approved by 30 members of the Board of Governors meeting in Vienna, with only Russia and China voting against, according to two diplomats interviewed by AFP. Three countries also abstained (India, Libya and Pakistan).

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett welcomed a “major decision that exposes the true face of Iran”, seeing it as “a warning signal”.

The document urges Iran to “cooperate” with the IAEA, which deplored in a recent report the absence of “technically credible” answers concerning traces of enriched uranium found at three undeclared sites.

Of symbolic significance at this stage, the resolution may be the prelude to a transmission of the dispute to the UN Security Council, empowered to impose sanctions.

– “Regrettable” – 

“Iran has no hidden nuclear activities or unreported sites,” Mohammad Eslami, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEIO), said on Wednesday, accusing Westerners of wanting to “keep up the pressure maximum” with this “political” resolution.

Even before the vote, Iran had disconnected during the day “several cameras” on “nuclear sites” in the country, according to a press release from the IOEA.

“Today, the relevant authorities were instructed to turn off the online enrichment monitors (OLEMs) and cameras from the agency’s flow meters,” she said.

The Iranian organization added, however, that “more than 80% of the agency’s existing cameras are operating in accordance with the safeguard agreement and will continue to operate as before”.

His spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi, who went to a site to see the cameras stop, warned that “other measures were being considered”.

This act is “extremely regrettable” and “counterproductive”, reacted a spokesman for American diplomacy interviewed by AFP. “Iran’s response should be to cooperate fully” with the IAEA, “not to further develop its nuclear activities and reduce transparency.”

Since January 2016, the UN police have been verifying and monitoring the implementation of the commitments made by Iran under the agreement concluded the previous year in Vienna with the major powers.

– “Maximum pressure” –

The pact, known by its English acronym JCPOA, granted the Islamic Republic sanctions relief in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program.

But Washington withdrew from the agreement in 2018 under the presidency of Donald Trump, judging the text insufficient, and reinstated economic sanctions against Tehran, which in response gradually freed itself from its commitments.

The current American president, Joe Biden, being him favorable to the JCPOA, negotiations started in April 2021 in Vienna between the E3, Russia and China to try to revive it, but seem more and more dedicated to the failure. The United States participates indirectly.

During the debates before the Board of Governors, London, Paris and Berlin denounced “an advanced nuclear program like never before”, and activities “without credible civil justification”.

According to the latest IAEA estimates, Iran will soon have accumulated enough 60% enriched uranium to build a bomb.

And Tehran, which denies any military aim, informed the agency of its intention to further extend its enrichment capacities on the Natanz site (center), according to information from the IAEA presented to the Council on Wednesday.