A team of five inspectors representing the United Nations nuclear agency arrived in the Iranian capital of Tehran on Monday to meet with the country's leaders and discuss the intentions of its nuclear program.
CNN reported that scheduled talks between the International Atomic Energy Agency and Iranian officials are billed as an opportunity for the watchdog agency to get more clarity about the "possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear program."
"The highest priority remains the possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear program, and we want to tackle all outstanding issues," Herman Nackaerts, the agency's deputy director general, told The New York Times.
The agency arrived just one day after Iran's oil ministry announced that it was halting exports to French and British companies in response to sanctions put in place last month by the European Union and the United States. The sanctions are meant to force Iran to provide more information on its nuclear program by shutting off its sales of crude oil, which generates half of Iran's revenue, said CNN.
According to The New York Times, Tehran signaled that it might expand the ban to other European powers it deems "hostile" in light of broader economic santions by the EU due to come into force on July 1. These countries include Spain, the Netherlands, Greece, Germany, Italy, and Portugal.
Iran has also threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, the passage for a third of the world's seaborn oil, and the United States signaled it would use force to keep it open, according to MSNBC.
According to CNN, Israel considers a nuclear-armed Iran a threat to its existence and has suggested it is considering an attack on Tehran's nuclear infrastructure.
However, William Hague, the British foreign secretary, told The New York Times that, while the West should leave all of its options open, a military strike would have "enormous downsides" and Britain's main priority was to "bring Iran back to the table" through diplomacy and economic pressures.
MSNBC reports that Tehran began a four-day military exercise in protecting its nuclear sites as a sign of concern about a possible, last-resort air strikes by Israel or the United States.