U.S. Urges IAEA To Refer Iran To Security Council
19 September 2005 -- The U.S. ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN's nuclear watchdog, says Iran's referral to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions is "long overdue."
Reuters quotes Gregory Schulte as saying the IAEA has an obligation to report what he called Tehran's noncompliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to the Security Council.
Schulte made those remarks on the sidelines of an IAEA Board of Governors meeting in Vienna today.
Washington accuses Tehran of pursuing a secret nuclear weapons program. Iran says its nuclear activities are for peaceful purposes.
Reports say diplomats from the so-called EU-Three -- Britain, France, and Germany -- are also trying to convince the IAEA's Board of Governors to refer Iran to the Security Council after it resumed nuclear processing last month.
The three countries today reportedly issued a draft resolution calling for Tehran to be reported at the Security Council this week.
But the chief of the IAEA, Muhammad el-Baradei, urged all parties to return to talks. "Regrettably, we are going through a period of confrontation and political brinksmanship," el-Baradei said. "I very much hope that this week all the parties should work together to create the necessary conditions to go back to the negotiating table. I know that all parties continue to express preference for going back to negotiation."
But el-Baradei also said Iran must do everything it can to shed light on its nuclear program after years of secrecy.
Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
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