Voting balance in IAEA to decide Iran nuclear issue

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The voting balance on the 35-member board of governors of the International Energy Agency (IAEA) will determine whether the agency will approve as sufficient Iran’s actions to comply with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed in July.

IAEA director general Yukiya Amano said today that the agency’s final assessment of Iran’s compliance will be submitted to the governors next week. Observers say this will be on 1 December. But he said the assessment will not provide unambiguous guidance to the board which will have to make up its own mind whether Iran is compliant.

The relaxation of nuclear-related sanctions on Iran imposed by the US, the EU and the UN is automatically triggered once the IAEA deems the Islamic republic to be compliant with the roadmap defining measures Tehran is obliged to take to satisfy JCPOA conditions. This suggests that Implementation Day when these sanctions are lifted could take place before the end of the year.

The members of the board of governors are: Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Ireland, Japan, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Malaysia, Mexico, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America, and Uruguay.

Observers say the board’s decision about the IAEA’s assessment could depend upon the voting balance among the agency’s governors.