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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

03 May 2006

Security Council Gets Draft Resolution on Iran

Resolution would requires Iran to end uranium enrichment

By Judy Aita
Washington File United Nations Correspondent

United Nations -- France and the United Kingdom introduced a draft resolution in the U.N. Security Council May 3 that would require Iran to abandon its uranium enrichment program and set the stage for sanctions if Tehran fails to comply.

U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said that draft resolution's requirements, which are written under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, would "make mandatory on Iran the suspension of all uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing activities."

The resolution was presented during a private council meeting on the report submitted at the end of April by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which documented Iran's noncompliance with IAEA and Security Council requirements.  (See related article.)

"We contemplate this being a two-step process.  The first resolution would be making mandatory the critical elements of prior IAEA board resolutions.  The second step, of course, would depend on the Iranian reaction," Bolton said.

Calling it a "very simple, slimmed down" draft resolution "appropriate to the times," the U.S. ambassador said that it is "time to act and time to act quickly."

Diplomats said they hoped negotiations on the draft can be concluded and the resolution adopted before senior foreign ministry officials from the five permanent members of the Security Council and Germany meet in New York on May 8.

After the meeting, Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sabliere of France said, "all members of the Security Council are very much concerned with the Iranian negative reactions to the request of the IAEA and the Security Council and they all understand that the Security Council has now to act again."

All council members agreed that the next step should be a resolution, not another presidential statement, de La Sabliere said.

A CALIBRATED APPROACH

Diplomats also emphasized that the resolution represented a gradual, calibrated and reversible approach.

"Once again, the key to this lies in Iran's hands," Bolton said.

"If they give up the pursuit of nuclear weapons, a lot of things are possible," the ambassador said.  "If they continue to bluster and to threaten and obfuscate and try to throw sand in our eyes, then we're onto a different circumstance," he said.

British Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry said, "The heart of this resolution is to make mandatory the suspension of all enrichment related activities."

The draft resolution is intended to express the council's concern over "the proliferation risks presented by the Iranian nuclear program" and "the threat to international peace and security and its responsibilities in this regard." 

In the draft, the council says, "Iran shall suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development, to be verified by the IAEA, and suspend the construction of a reactor moderated by heavy water."

The draft leaves open the number of days Iran has to comply.  The time will be negotiated with other council members before the vote, de La Sabliere said, adding that the co-sponsors would like to see the compliance deadline "at the latest early June."

The resolution also would call on other nations "to exercise vigilance in preventing the transfer of items, materials, goods and technology that could contribute to Iran's enrichment-related and reprocessing activities and missile programs."

Diplomats said that the paragraph is not a precursor to sanctions, but would serve as a clear message urging countries to abide by existing obligations.

"We're simply saying at this critical time -- certainly for members of the nuclear suppliers group and others that have access to that technology -- this is not the time to be sending that technology to Iran.  This is not the time to be enhancing their capability," Bolton said.

"It's a very reasonable thing to ask," the ambassador said.

Transcripts of Bolton’s remarks at the Security Council stakeout and after Security Council consultationsare available on the Web site of the U.N. Mission to the United Nations

For further information, see Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.

(The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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