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IAEA Likely To Send Iran's Case To UN, Says Senior Diplomat

Abbas Araghchi, political deputy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran, speaks to the media in Vienna after nuclear talks. July 28, 2019

Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi (Araghchi) says the next IAEA Board of Governors' meeting is likely to send Iran's case to the UN Security Council.

Some observers say if the case is referred to the UNSC, it may bring back all previous international sanctions against Iran.

Official ews agency IRNA quoted Araqchi, a senior Iranian nuclear negotiator, on Monday July 6 as saying that the U.S. Maximum pressure against Iran has reached its peak during recent months.

However, later IRNA withdrew part of its report about Araqchi's prediction about the fate of Iran's nuclear case.

In a statement drafted by the United Kingdom, France and Germany, the IAEA Board of Governors in its latest meeting in late June criticized Iran for not answering the UN atomic agency's questions and not allowing IAEA inspectors to visit locations they needed to inspect.

Araqchi made the comment about sending Iran's case from the IAEA to the UN Security Council at a meeting of senior Iranian foreign ministry officials, also attended by Vice-President Es'haq Jahangiri.

He said at the meeting: "The IAEA has started a complicated game with Iran and has issued a resolution against Tehran under U.S. pressure," adding that "the IAEA is likely to send Iran's case to the UNSC in its next meeting."

Araqchi reiterated: "We should not allow the United States to introduce Iran as a security threat once again.”

Stressing that the United States' most important objective is to send Iran's nuclear case to the UN Security Council and that it is using all of its potential to accomplish this, the Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister said: "This is a dangerous game that will entail strategic losses for Iran."

Without elaborating on the details, Araqchi said any move [in Iran] that would portray Iran as a strategic threat would be playing into the hands of the United States.

In the past, Iranian hardliners including those in the Revolutionary Guard, IRGC, engaged in untimely actions that amounted to sabotaging the Iranian negotiators before, during and after the nuclear talks.Untimely missile tests with "Death to Israel" slogan inscribed on the body of the missiles and constant threats issued against the United States and its allies.

Araqchi's comments came a few days after a major blast at Iran's uranium enrichment facility in Natanz that was followed by the publication of anti-Israeli commentaries on news websites close to Iran's Supreme Council of National Security.

Araqchi, who is the official in charge of the headquarters to follow up the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), claimed on Monday that the United States is following several routes to send Iran's nuclear case to the UNSC.

He said: "One of these routes is doing it via the IAEA Board of Governors." He claimed that the access to Iran's nuclear installations demanded by the IAEA is based on documents fabricated by Israel."

Araqchi also said that the United States is attempting to extend Iran's arms embargo beyond October, five years after the 2015 nuclear deal was signed. The United States withdrew from the nuclear agreement in 2018 and wants a comprehensive deal with Iran that would also limit its ambitious ballistic missiles program and curb what it says are Iran’s destabilizing activities across the region.

Iran has already been subjected to an arms embargo for 13 years, but under the terms of the JCPOA, the embargo should end by October 18.

Araqchi said that Iran's answer to the U.S. maximum pressure is maximum resistance but did not mention that Tehran's defiance and the resulting U.S. sanctions has made life terribly difficult for Iranians who are suffering from the consequences of one of the harshest economic crises resulting in extremely high inflation and an unusual devaluation of Iran's national currency.

Referring to the U.S. presidential election in November in which Iranian officials desperately hope President Donald Trump will lose, Araqchi said: "I hope we can leave the next four months behind in one piece."