UPDATE 1-France, allies to lodge protest Iran's activities at IAEA - foreign minister

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PARIS, March 2 (Reuters) - France and its Western partners plan to go ahead with a protest in the coming days at the U.N. nuclear watchdog's board to criticize Iran's decision to curb cooperation with the agency, its foreign minister said on Tuesday.

"The nuclear tensions will lead us in the coming days to emit a protest in the framework of the IAEA Board of Governors to regret this decision," Jean-Yves Le Drian told a parliamentary hearing.

Iran said last month it was scaling back cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, ending extra inspection and monitoring measures introduced by the 2015 nuclear deal, including the power given to the IAEA to carry out snap inspections at facilities not declared by Iran.

Britain, France and Germany, all parties to the deal with Iran, on Monday circulated a draft resolution backed by the United States for the Vienna meeting voicing "serious concern" at Iran's reduced cooperation and urging Iran to reverse its steps.

Russia and Iran have warned of serious consequences if the resolution passes.

The IAEA's 35-nation Board of Governors is holding a quarterly meeting this week against the backdrop of faltering efforts to revive Iran's nuclear deal with major powers now that U.S. President Joe Biden is in office. (Reporting by John Irish; Writing by Matthieu Protard; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

03/02/2021 18:46

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