U.S., EU Want Iran Sent Before UN Security Council
Bloomberg | September 20, 2005
U.S. and European diplomats drafted a resolution asking the United Nations Security Council to confront Iran about its intention to enrich uranium.
The resolution asks the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency to report Iran to the Security Council, according to a four-page draft obtained by Bloomberg News. The 15-member council should tell Iran to suspend uranium enrichment, it said.
Iran could leave the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, if it faces ``the language of force,'' Agence France-Presse cited Iran's nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, as saying in Tehran.
Calls to send Iran before the Security Council intensified after talks with France, Germany and the U.K., representing the European Union, collapsed last month. Iran broke IAEA seals on an idled uranium conversion plant on Aug. 9. Iran says it needs nuclear fuel to generate electricity. The U.S. says the Islamic Republic wants to build an atomic bomb.
``I would like to see a united international community,'' IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei said yesterday when he was asked whether referring the dispute to the UN Security Council could split the 35-member IAEA board. The board usually passes resolutions by consensus, rather than by votes, in an effort to show unity. The last time the board of governors voted was in 2003, when it sent North Korea's dossier to the Council.
A Security Council referral isn't guaranteed in Iran's case. Iran has been talking with IAEA board members including China, India, Russia, South Africa and India to forestall a resolution.
As many as 14 developing countries, members of the non- aligned movement, say they will oppose a Security Council referral. The group doesn't want Iran's idled facilities to set a precedent. Diplomats from the IAEA's board of governors are meeting for a second day in Vienna to discuss Iran's nuclear ambitions.
Iran's earlier suspension of enrichment was ``a voluntary and non-legally binding confidence building measure and it should not be interpreted in any way as inhibiting or restricting the inalienable right of member states to develop atomic energy,'' said the non-aligned group's head, Malaysian Ambassador Rajmah Hussain, on Aug. 11.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatened a break from his country's diplomatic efforts if countries try to take away its ability to develop nuclear technology.
``If some try to impose their will on the Iranian people through resort to a language of force and threat with Iran, we will reconsider our entire approach to the nuclear issue,'' Ahmadinejad told the UN General Assembly on Sept. 14.
Iran, with the world's second biggest oil reserves, has been signing energy deals with IAEA board members. The Islamic Republic is set to supply China with 10 million tons of liquefied natural gas annually beginning in 2008, Iran's Oil Ministry said July 6. It's also planning a $7.4 billion natural-gas pipeline to India.
``The oil situation leads them to believe they've become a supplier of choice in Asia,'' said former UN Deputy Director General, Giandomenico Picco, who helped negotiate the end to the Iraq-Iran war. They're reliance upon the West isn't as important as what it was.''
The IAEA board is comprised of Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Ecuador, France, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Tunisia, U.K., U.S., Venezuela, Vietnam and Yemen.