Hagerty, Scott, Colleagues Urge IAEA Censure of Iran’s Nuclear Buildup

March 4, 2024

NASHVILLE, TN—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, joined Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), along with eight other Senate Republican colleagues, in sending a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging the Biden Administration to censure Iran at the next International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors meeting, which begins on March 4, 2024.

In December, the IAEA issued a report showing that Iran’s nuclear enrichment activity tripled by the end of last year. A U.S.-led censure of Iran at the IAEA would apply needed pressure on the regime after months of heightened tension on the Middle East and would send a strong message that rogue nuclear programs by any country, especially the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, will not be tolerated.

“In recent months, the Iranian regime has utilized its proxy network to disrupt global commerce and threaten our armed forces, while simultaneously increasing its stockpile of enriched uranium,” the Senators wrote. “The United States must demonstrate leadership at the IAEA and encourage the international community to uphold its non-proliferation standards. The stakes could not be higher.”

“Iran’s destabilizing behavior is nothing new. Since 1979, the regime has jeopardized long-term security and stability in the Middle East through its support for terrorism and insurgency,” the Senators continued. “However, these efforts have intensified since its proxy Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, 2023. In the past three months, Tehran’s so-called ‘Axis of Resistance’ has launched over 160 attacks against U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria, as well as international shipping vessels in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.”

“We also encourage the U.S. delegation at the IAEA to push for Iran’s nuclear program to be formally referred to the United Nations Security Council for review. There is no better way to uphold global non-proliferation norms than to maintain a clear and consistent standard of institutional treatment toward Iran’s nuclear advances. Special treatment must not be accorded in the mistaken belief that it could help de-escalate Iran’s behavior. As we’ve seen in recent months, appeasement is often rewarded with further escalation,” the Senators concluded.

A copy of the letter can be found here.