HOME About Blog Contact Hotel Links Donations Registration
NEWS & COMMENTARY 2008 SPEAKERS 2007 2006 2005

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Iran gets 30 days to stop Uranium enrichment

(Times of India)UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations Security Council has asked Iran to suspend its Uranium enrichment programme and given the country 30 days to comply with the demand

The 15-member council unanimously approved a statement on Wednesday evening that will ask the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency to report within 30 days on Iran's compliance with the demands to stop enriching Uranium.

It took almost three weeks of contentious discussions at the United Nations and in the capitals of five veto-wielding permanent members of the Council and last minute talk between American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rica and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to reach an agreement on the statement.

By the time the statement was finalised, Britain and France, who had drafted the original tough statement, had pulled most of the teeth out of it in face of stiff opposition from Russia and China who wanted to ensure that it cannot be used as pretext by a member or group of members to take action against Iran, including imposition of sanction, without the approval of the Council.

But western diplomats said it retains enough muscle and sends a strong signal to Tehran to stop defying international community and meet its obligation under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) to which it is a party.

Asked what action they plan to take in case IAEA reports non-compliance, ambassadors told reporters the issue would be discussed at the Berlin meeting of ministers of five permanent members of the Council - the United States, Britain, Russia, France and China and Germany. They do not want to preempt their decision, they said.

Diplomats said to win support of Russia and China, Washington, London and Paris agreed to remove the language which would have linked the Iranian programme to threat to international peace and security which Moscow and Beijing feared, could be used to justify imposition of sanction without an explicit Council authorization.

Within a hour of the council adopting the statement, Tehran's UN ambassador Jawad Zarif said, pressure and threat does not work with Iran.

He rejected the suggestion that Iran is aiming to develop nuclear weapons and asserted its right to use the nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. "We will not abandon that claim to our legitimate rights."

The statement asked Iran to take steps required by IAEA Board of Governors which are "essential to build confidence in the exclusively peaceful purpose" of its nuclear progamme.

It also underlines the "particular importance" of reestablishing full and sustained suspension of all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development.

This, Moscow and Beijing argue, keeps the issue with the IAEA but western diplomats said the Council is its own master and could take up any issue without any agency referring to it.

Stressing this position, China's UN Ambassador Wang Guangya said it sends a strong signal for the Council to support the authority of the IAEA.

But American John Bolton said it sends a strong an "unmistakable message" to Iran that its efforts to deny the obvious fact of what it is doing are not going to be sufficient.

The statement "may not win any awards in tennis heaven, the ball is back in Iran's court and we'll be here 30 days to see what they will do," he said, summing up American position.

Britain and France had originally given 14 days for IAEA to report compliance but under pressure from Britain and China, agreed to extend it to 30 days.
Web IntelligenceSummit.org
Webmasters: Intelligence, Homeland Security & Counter-Terrorism WebRing
Copyright © IHEC 2008. All rights reserved.       E-mail info@IntelligenceSummit.org