Western powers have been reluctant to get tough on Tehran for fear of aggravating Middle East tensions as Iran grows its nuclear programme and reduces cooperation with the UN watchdog, diplomats say.

According to AFP, worries of a wider regional conflict have sharpened since Hamas’s shock October 7 attack and Israel’s retaliatory bombardment and ground offensive aimed at destroying the fighters in Gaza.

At this week’s Board of Governors meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, the United States and the so-called E3 group — France, Germany and the United Kingdom — condemned Tehran’s lack of cooperation.

Despite stressing that Iran’s actions had “pushed unprecedented boundaries”, they held off on submitting a binding resolution.

“The picture is pretty bleak, but the fact at the moment is that there is no appetite to provoke a reaction in Iran in the context of the conflict in the Middle East,” a senior diplomat summed up the current deadlock.

Opinion

In defamation’s name

In defamation’s name

It provides yet more proof that the undergirding logic of public authority in Pakistan is legal and extra-legal coercion rather than legitimised consent.

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