UN Security Council considers action on Iran's nuclear programme
3 May 2006 – A draft resolution to rein in Iran’s nuclear programme was submitted today to the United Nations Security Council today as the 15-Member body began to consider its response to the latest report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which says Tehran has defied the Council’s call to suspend uranium enrichment and ensure its nuclear activity was strictly for peaceful purposes as the Government claims.
According to its backers – the United States, United Kingdom and France – the draft text would demand compliance from Iran under the UN Charter’s Chapter VII, which would make it a legally binding decision that could be followed up by enforcement measures such as sanctions in the case of further defiance.
The IAEA report, sent to the Council on Friday, notes that existing gaps in knowledge about the programme “continue to be a matter of concern,” and stresses that any progress “requires full transparency and active cooperation by Iran,” which concealed its nuclear activities for nearly 20 years in breach of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Earlier this year, the IAEA referred the matter to the Council after its Director-General, Mohamed ElBaradei, had repeatedly reported that although the Agency had not seen any diversion of material to nuclear weapons or other explosive devices, it was still not able to conclude that there were no undeclared nuclear materials or activities in Iran.
Iran says its activities are solely for energy purposes but the United States and other countries insist it is clandestinely seeking to produce nuclear weapons. Last August, Iran rescinded its voluntary suspension of nuclear fuel conversion, which can produce the enriched uranium necessary either for nuclear power generation or for nuclear weapons.
Tomorrow, the Council is expected to hear further explanations of the IAEA report from technical experts, according to the Congolese Presidency, as they continue their deliberations on the matter.
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