Iran ready to notify uranium enrichment: Diplomat
IranMania | September 24, 2005
LONDON, September 24 (IranMania) - Iran warned that it was ready to submit a note informing the UN atomic watchdog that it will begin enriching uranium if a resolution against its atomic program is adopted, a diplomat said.
"Iran is to notify the IAEA in writing about beginning uranium enrichment, and also cease applying a protocol for wider UN inspections, if the resolution is actually adopted" by the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, a diplomat close to the IAEA told AFP.
The European Union on Friday tabled a motion to the 35-nation IAEA board which is meeting in Vienna that puts off immediately sending Iran to the UN Security Council but condemns it for non-compliance with international nuclear safeguards, according to AFP.
Citing Iran for non-compliance, which would require the IAEA to at some point to bring the Islamic Republic before the Security Council, would be a major development almost three years into an IAEA investigation that has documented two decades of hidden Iranian nuclear activities which the United States says shows a secret atomic weapons program.
Iran's resumption last month of uranium conversion, a first step in making enriched uranium, has set off a crisis in which the United States and the EU want to call in the international weight of the Security Council, which could impose trade sanctions.
Iran had promised to maintain a suspension of actual uranium enrichment if it were not threatened with referral to the Security Council.
The IAEA board was expected to vote on the resolution over the weekend.
Iran warned Friday that it would view the UN atomic watchdog's adopting the European draft resolution as a "confrontation," in comments by Iranian National Security Council deputy chief Javad Vaidi.
Vaidi said: "It is the issue going out of the IAEA that we will consider the track of confrontation," adding that Iran wants "peaceful resolution of this issue and dialolgue and of course negotiation."
The Security Council could at first urge cooperation and then impose sanctions to get Iran to stop work on the first steps of making nuclear fuel that has raised fears it might be secretly developing atomic weapons.
Iran insists its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes.
In Tehran, the head of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards warned that the imposition of sanctions on the Islamic republic over its nuclear programme could push the price of oil to 100 dollars a barrel.
"Any sanction against Iran can make the oil price reach 100 dollars a barrel," General Yahya Rahim Safavi said in a speech to worshippers attending Friday prayers in Tehran.
Iran is OPEC's second producer.
"Any economic and political pressure on Iran from any power ... will result in a harsh reaction from Iran," he added.
The Islamic republic, the general asserted, "has a solid and unbeatable defence potential (and) can retaliate and attack the interests of the enemies in remote places."