Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Military Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



EU Calls For IAEA Action Over Iran Nuke Programme

"The Russians are agreed now. They have changed their position," said the anonymous source. "The Chinese are still a little hesitant, but effectively a Security Council referral is now a done deal."
by Staff Writers
London (AFP) Jan 16, 2006
Europe's leading nations pressed Monday for an emergency meeting of the UN atomic watchdog in two weeks over Iran's nuclear programme, bringing the prospect of referral to the UN Security Council a step closer.

After talks in London that also included officials from China, Russia and United States, the EU troika of Britain, France and Germany said they wanted the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to meet on February 2-3.

"The EU-3 informed the other participants of their intention to call for an extraordinary IAEA board of governors meeting on the 2nd and 3rd of February," a British Foreign Office spokesman told AFP.

The London gathering followed Iran's announcement last week that it was to resume research into uranium enrichment, sparking worldwide concern.

Iran insists its nuclear programme is purely for civilian energy purposes, but highly enriched uranium can also be used as the raw material for nuclear weapons -- something the West fears Tehran is secretly trying to develop.

The IAEA governors could decide to refer Iran to the Security Council for contravening nuclear non-proliferation agreements and IAEA resolutions, in a possible prelude to sanctions.

However, a lesser measure such as a formal order for Tehran to halt nuclear research appears more likely, with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw saying earlier Monday that there was no need to "rush" towards sanctions.

Russia and China, both of which have close trade and energy ties with Iran, are also seen as notably less keen on sanctions than the United States and the European Union.

Over the weekend, Tehran declared that it was "not scared" at the prospect of UN referral.

The Foreign Office spokesman said all sides in Monday's talks had expressed "serious concern" about Iran's move but talked only of "a thorough exchange of views on the role of the UN Security Council" in enforcing the IAEA's views.

"The participants remain committed to a diplomatic solution," the spokesman added.

A European diplomatic source, speaking under cover of anonymity, had earlier Monday described referral to the Security Council as a certainty.

"The Russians are agreed now. They have changed their position," said the source. "The Chinese are still a little hesitant, but effectively a Security Council referral is now a done deal."

Fears over the rumbling crisis have sent global oil prices rising. In London, the price of North Sea crude oil jumped 76 cents to 63.02 dollars per barrel in Monday's trade. US markets were closed for a holiday.

The diplomatic source, however, stressed that sanctions, while possible, were by no means a certainty.

"There are plenty of examples where a matter is referred to the Security Council and the Security Council takes action and that action is followed without sanction," the source said.

In Moscow, President Vladimir Putin cautioned against taking "abrupt" steps over Iran and stressed that a long-mooted compromise plan to enrich uranium for Iran on Russian territory was still possible.

"The Iranian foreign ministry, notably, has said that it does not rule out accepting our proposal," Putin said after talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Britain, France and Germany, known as the EU-3, have spearheaded the bloc's negotiations with Iran, trying to woo the Islamic republic with pledges of more aid and trade in return for greater candour on its nuclear programme.

Lsat Thursday, the troika, furious at Iran breaking the seals on nuclear facilities to resume fuel work, declared the talks were at a "dead end" and said they would seek an IAEA meeting to debate referral.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, en route to Liberia, said Monday she wanted to see the board of the IAEA convene "as soon as possible".

"The problem with waiting for the regular meeting in March or waiting for a long time is that I think the Iranians will try to take advantage of it to start to throw chaff now and to obfuscate" on its intentions, she said.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Related Links

Widening US Sanctions On Nkorea May Trigger 'Major Conflict'
Washington (AFP) Jan 17, 2006
The United States could be drawn into hostilities with North Korea if it widens its sanctions on the nuclear-armed communist regime, a former South Korean minister warned Tuesday. Washington has already slapped financial sanctions on the hardline regime over alleged counterfeiting and money laundering activities.







  • China's Africa Expansion
  • US Army Can Surge Troops To Meet Any Crisis
  • China Unveils New 'Win-Win' Partnership With Africa
  • Rise And Fall Of China In 2005

  • Widening US Sanctions On Nkorea May Trigger 'Major Conflict'
  • Israel Will Not Allow Iran To Obtain WMDs
  • EU Calls For IAEA Action Over Iran Nuke Programme
  • World Powers Split Over Iran Nuclear Program

  • Northrop Grumman Wins Contract For Target And Space-Launch Missile Work
  • LockMart/Netfires Tests Loitering Attack Missile Warhead
  • LockMart Conducts Three Tests Of The GMLRS Unitary Rocket
  • Raytheon Team For APKWS II Demonstrates Semi-Active Laser Sensor Dome Survivability

  • Major Milestone Achieved On LockMart Missile Warning System
  • Missile Defense Program Moves Forward
  • ITT To Support DoD Missile Defense Agency
  • Boeing GMD Team Places 10th Interceptor

  • Wedgetail Aircraft Delivered To Boeing Australia
  • US Air Force Rates F-22A Raptor "Mission Capable"
  • Northrop Grumman To Provide New Air Data Inertial Reference Units To Lufthansa
  • Air Force Slates F-117 And B-52 For Cuts F-22 Raptors

  • Geneva Completes First Stage Of US Navy Project
  • NG Takes Delivery Of MQ-8B Fire Scout UAV Airframe
  • USAF UAV Battlelab Sponsors Demo Of Proxy Aviation's SkyForce
  • Northrop Grumman Global Hawk Flies New Electronic Signal Intel Sensor

  • US Looks For Pattern In Iraq Helicopter Losses
  • Bremer Blames Bush, Rumsfeld
  • Deconstructing Iraq
  • Outside View: Challenges Ahead In Iraq

  • Metal Storm Wins US Funding For Munitions Development
  • Evolving Needs Of Warfare Spur Demand
  • Navy Gets Advanced Combat Training System For Fleet Defence
  • Night Vision Capability For OZ Navy Seahawks

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement