Saturday, February 04, 2006

WG: Iran reported to Security Council

Free Pars News:
Saturday, February 4, 2006; Posted: 7:58 a.m. EST (12:58 GMT) VIENNA, Austria (CNN) -- The United Nations' nuclear watchdog agency passed a resolution Saturday reporting Iran to the U.N. Security Council over its nuclear program. In response, Iran said it would resume its full nuclear-related activities, without restriction, and will no longer allow snap inspections of its nuclear facilities. Twenty-seven of the International Atomic Energy Agency's 35-nation board voted during an emergency session in favor of the resolution. Syria, Venezuela and Cuba were the sole countries in opposition. Five countries abstained: Algeria, Belarus, Indonesia, Libya and South Africa. "This resolution is politically motivated, since it is not based on any legal or technical grounds," Iran's representative to the IAEA, Javad Vaeedi, said. Iran has said it is pursuing nuclear research for peaceful purposes; the United States and other countries suspect Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb. In a statement, the British representative said that, should Iran fail to comply with the board's wishes, the Security Council will be expected to bring additional pressure to bear on Iran. The referral to the U.N. Security Council came one day after Vaeedi warned such a move would mean an end to diplomacy, according to Iran's state-run news agency, IRNA. The IAEA resolution includes a clause, inserted at the insistence of Egypt, that says, "Recognizing that a solution to the Iranian issue would contribute to global nonproliferation efforts and to realizing the objective of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, including their means of delivery." That clause is considered to be a reference to Israel's undeclared possession of nuclear weapons. The resolution called on Iran to take steps to build confidence and resolve questions about whether its nuclear program is indeed peaceful. Those steps include re-establishing "full and sustained suspension of nuclear-related activities;" reconsidering the construction of a heavy-water research reactor, ratifying an additional protocol allowing inspections of nuclear facilities and, pending ratification of the draft, continuing to act in accordance with the provisions of the additional protocol. Finally, the resolution called for Iran to allow "access to individuals and documents." The IAEA board began the emergency session on Iran's nuclear issue Thursday. It was requested by the EU3 -- Britain, France and Germany -- after reaching an impasse in negotiations with Iran when the Islamic state announced last month it had broken IAEA seals on its nuclear facilities. The EU3 submitted the draft resolution, with the backing of all five permanent members of the Security Council: Russia, China, Britain, France and the United States. To get approval from Russia and China, the draft resolution was amended to request to delay any action by the Security Council against Iran until IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei presents a report on Iran's nuclear activities to the board next month. But China's ambassador to the United Nations signaled that another diplomatic quagmire could emerge if the Security Council considers sanctions against the Islamic state. "We're not in favor of sanctions," said Wang Guangya at the U.N. headquarters in New York. "We still have time to be flexible, to work diplomatic solutions." Konstantin Dolgov, Russia's deputy ambassador to the United Nations, echoed Wang's comments, saying he "We want only a diplomatic solution." ElBaradei said the resolution would create a "window of opportunity" by giving Iran 30 days to consider proposals that would prove its nuclear intentions are peaceful, as the Islamic state insists. The IAEA has asked Iran to return to its full suspension of "enrichment-related activities until the agency has come to a conclusion on the scope of the program," ElBaradei said. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denounced that request in a speech Thursday, IRNA reported. "They are determined to deprive us of our legal rights to access nuclear technology so that they would sell the same to us at a very high price," he said. Over the next month, meetings will take place to consider issues such as a proposal under which Russia would enrich uranium for Iran, ElBaradei said. U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, in a prepared statement, said, "The world does not want -- and must work together to prevent -- a nuclear Iran." CNN's Matthew Chance, Elise Labott and Richard Roth contributed to this report.


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