IAEA’s Chairman Yukiya Amano from Japan, right, talks to Iranian Ambassador to the IAEA Ali Asghar Soltanieh prior to the start of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) 35-nation board meeting on the escalating nuclear standoff with Iran, on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006, at Vienna’s International Center. Iran’s breaches of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty and lack of confidence that it is not trying to make weapons are linked to a decision to ask for Tehran’s referral to the U.N. Security Council.
ASSociated Press: IAEA to Report Iran to Security Council
The U.N. nuclear watchdog on Saturday reported Iran to the U.N. Security Council in a resolution expressing concern Tehran’s nuclear program may not be “exclusively for peaceful purposes.”
The landmark decision by the International Atomic Energy Agency’s 35-nation board sets the stage for future action by the top U.N. body, which has the authority to impose economic and political sanctions.
Still, any such moves were weeks if not months away. Two permanent council members, Russia and China, agreed to referral only on condition the council take no action before March.
Twenty-seven nations supported the resolution, which was sponsored by three European powers – Britain, France and Germany – and backed by the United States.
Cuba, Syria and Venezuela were the only nations to vote against. Five others – Algeria, Belarus, Indonesia, Libya and South Africa – abstained, a milder form of showing opposition.
Among those backing the referral was India, a nation with great weight in the developing world whose stance was unclear until the vote.
And Iran’s reaction to the referral:
Reacting to referral, Javed Vaeidi, the deputy head of Iran’s powerful Security Council, said his country would “immediately” set into motion steps to restart work on full-scale uranium enrichment and curtail the inspecting powers of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The Resoultion Calls on Iran:
1. Reestablish a freeze on uranium enrichment and related activities.
2. Consider whether to stop construction of a heavy water reactor that could be the source of plutonium for weapons.
3. Formally ratify an agreement allowing the IAEA greater inspecting authority and continue honoring the agreement before it is ratified.
4. Give the IAEA additional power in its investigation of Iran’s nuclear program, including “access to individuals” for interviews, as well as to documentation on its black-market nuclear purchases, equipment that could be used for nuclear and non-nuclear purposes and “certain military-owned workshops” where nuclear activities might be going on.
Now over to Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The Natanz uranium enrichment complex in Natanz is pictured in this January 2, 2006 satellite image.
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