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US, EU To Delay Security Council Call Over Iran: Diplomats


Vienna (AFP) Nov 21, 2005
The United States and Europe are to delay a possible move this week to refer Iran to the UN Security Council over its disputed nuclear program, diplomats said Monday.

Instead, Russia - which opposes a referral, something which could pave the way for sanctions - will be given more time to broker a compromise deal.

Moves to call on the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to bring Iran before the Security Council "will not happen at this week's meeting" of the IAEA in Vienna, a Western diplomat told AFP.

The European Union negotiating trio of Britain, France and Germany, the so-called EU-3, as well as Russia, "are committed to allowing their diplomacy more time to succeed" and want to defer any decision on putting the issue before the Security Council, the diplomat added.

Instead, the EU-3, Russia and the United States will "maintain pressure" on Iran to comply with previous requests by the IAEA, he said.

Another diplomat added: "Everyone wants to give the Russian proposal a chance to fly. It's still in the air."

Washington and the EU fear that Iran is using a civilian nuclear power program to hide covert development of atomic weapons, something Tehran has denied.

The IAEA's 35-nation board of governors meets in Vienna on Thursday and will review progress since it called on Iran in September to cease all nuclear fuel work, cooperate with an IAEA investigation and return to talks with the

The board has already found Iran in contravention of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), a ruling that opens the way to bringing the matter to the Security Council for possible enforcement measures.

But Russia, which is building Iran's first nuclear reactor, and China, which also has strong economic ties with Tehran, support the Islamic Republic's right to civilian nuclear technology. Both oppose a Security Council referral.

Iran has continued with uranium conversion and has insisted on its right to such nuclear fuel work, although Moscow is offering a compromise under which it would enrich uranium for Iran in Russia. Iran has currently suspended uranium enrichment.

Conversion makes the gas that is processed in centrifuges into enriched uranium, which can be used both as fuel for civilian nuclear power reactors or the raw material for atom bombs.

Earlier Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov backed a possible future referral to the Security Council but argued that this was not yet required.

"We do not exclude that the Iran question could be referred to the UN Security Council if a real threat of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction appears, primarily of nuclear weapons," Russian news agencies quoted Lavrov as saying on a visit to Brussels.

"We do not see such a threat at the moment," he added.

"Under the current situation, while Iran is not working on enriching uranium, we should continue operating within the IAEA."

According to the Western diplomat, the United States feels "it is worth taking a few more months to work on Russia and China to bring them on board" before taking Iran to the Security Council.

Iran triggered the latest crisis in August when it broke off negotiations with the EU-3 on a package of incentives for abandoning making nuclear fuel and resumed uranium conversion it had suspended nine months previously.

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N.Korea Aids Iran Nukes
Washington (UPI) Nov 21, 2005
As President George W. Bush returns to Washington from his Asian tour, he will be confronted with newly released information that Iran is building nuclear-warhead capable missiles with help from North Korean experts in a vast underground complex near Tehran.







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