Iran refuses to halt nuclear activities

Iran says it will not halt uranium enrichment but has repeated its long-standing offer to allow checks by international inspectors in return for the Security Council dropping the case.

Iran refuses to halt nuclear activities

Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), delivered a report on Friday saying UN checks in Iran had been hampered and that Tehran had ignored demands to stop producing nuclear fuel. Mohammad Saeedi, deputy head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation, told state television that Iran wanted the Security Council to pass the case back to the IAEA.
The Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty allows short-notice inspections of nuclear facilities. "If the case returns to the agency (IAEA) again, we will begin the section that concerns the Additional Protocol," Saeedi said. "The enrichment will continue. But ... we will continue implementing the Additional Protocol as a voluntary measure."

New resolution

ElBaradei's report said the IAEA was "unable to make progress in its efforts to provide assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran". "The existing gaps in knowledge continue to be a matter of concern," it added. "Any progress in that regard requires full transparency and active co-operation by Iran. These transparency measures are not yet forthcoming."
Western diplomats at the UN have said they plan to present a resolution to the Security Council within a week that would back up the council's demands with legal force. The United States, backed by Britain and France, support imposing limited sanctions on Iran but the other two veto-wielding permanent council members - Russia and China - are reticent.
The US said on Friday that the foreign ministers of the five permanent members will meet, along with Germany, on May 9. An EU diplomat in Vienna dismissed Saeedi's suggestion of returning to the situation that existed before Western powers carried out their threat to go to the Security Council. "The international community has made very clear what steps Iran is required to take: They are a full suspension of all enrichment-related activity and provision of transparency that is overdue and essential," he said.

Red line

But China's ambassador to the United Nations, Wang Guangya, told Beijing's Xinhua News Agency on Friday that consideration of sanctions or military measures would not help to resolve the issue. He said the international community and the Security Council must establish a "better means to defuse the current crisis". Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, reiterated that Iran would never give up its right to peaceful atomic technology. "That is our red line, and we will never cross it," he said.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16