Saturday, September 24, 2005

IAEA board adopts resolution on Iran

The UN nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, has approved a European Union motion that lead to Iran's referral to the UN Security Council at a later date.

The vote was 22-one in favour, with 12 countries — including China and Russia — abstaining. Venezuela cast the only vote against.The motion had earlier faced strong opposition.

The resolution--submitted by Britain, France and Germany-- does call for Iran's immediate referral but urges the 35-member IAEA board to consider reporting Iran - at an unspecified date - to the UN Security Council.

As grounds for referral, it stated that Tehran's "many failures and breaches" over international nuclear safeguards "constitute non-compliance" with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

However, the rsulotion stops short of mentioning sanctions, in recognition of Russian and Chinese opposition.

AP reports that Diplomats inside Saturday's closed meeting said the EU draft resolution adopted by the board was the one submitted Friday after last-minute talks failed with Russia and China on modifications meant to make the text milder in exchange for Moscow's and Beijing's overt support.

Iran has warned that if referred to the Security Council, it could start uranium enrichment and stop allowing unconditional IAEA inspections of its nuclear facilities.