Friday, September 17, 2004

IHT: U.S. fails to bring UN into Iran nuclear case

IHT: U.S. fails to bring UN into Iran nuclear case: " U.S. fails to bring UN into Iran nuclear case
Craig S. Smith NYT Saturday, September 18, 2004
VIENNA The United States once again failed Friday to persuade the International Atomic Energy Agency to refer Iran's nuclear program to the United Nations Security Council, accepting instead a repetition of calls for the country to stop uranium enrichment activities and clear up questions about its nuclear ambitions.
.
A resolution making those calls is expected to be passed by the agency's 35-member board on Saturday, although several countries were trying late on Friday to water down the resolution's language further.
.
The draft of the resolution as it read Friday would demand a full response by Iran before the agency's board meeting Nov. 25.
.
The United States has been pressing the UN agency for nearly a year to find Iran in breach of its obligations under the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty after the discovery two years ago that the country had hidden much of its nuclear activity for nearly 20 years. Iran has been slow to divulge details of its clandestine research, which the United States is convinced encompasses a nuclear weapons program.
.
But many other countries, led by Britain, France, Germany and Russia, who are not convinced that Iran is intent on building a bomb, favor a softer approach.
.
The international agency has carried out more than a dozen unannounced inspections of Iranian facilities.
.
This week, the agency's head, Mohamed ElBaradei, praised Iran's cooperation and said most issues had been clarified.
.
He said, for example, that traces of highly enriched uranium found on imported centrifuge parts in Iran might well have come from outside the country, as Iran insists.
.
But the United States remains certain that inconsistencies in the program and other clues point to a secret weapons program.
.
The United States suspects a partly buried bunker at a munitions plant in Parchin, 30 kilometers, or 20 miles, southwest of Tehran, could be used to test high-intensity explosives used in a nuclear implosion bomb, in which a sphere of explosives surrounds a core of highly enriched uranium or plutonium.
.
Hossein Mousavian, head of the foreign policy committee of Iran's Supreme National security Council, said Friday that Iran would grant the UN watchdog agency access to the site, though it is not required to do so.
.
"We have never rejected an IAEA inspection," he said.
.
Mousavian argued that Iran was being unfairly penalized, saying that the country had proposed making the Middle East a nuclear weapon-free zone while Israel, which has nuclear weapons, had never signed the Nonproliferation Treaty or accepted agency inspections.
.
"There is clearly a double standard," Mousavian said, adding that Iranian religious leaders had issued a fatwa, or edict, in 1996 that forbade the use of all weapons of mass destruction.
.
"For Iranians, a religious fatwa is more important than any international convention," he said.
.
Former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani of Iran warned Friday in Tehran that Iran would lodge a complaint at the International Court of Justice against the agency for acting outside its powers if the agency demanded that the country stop its enrichment activities.
.
According to the draft of the resolution, Iran must clear up "outstanding issues" in time for ElBaradei to prepare a report for the November meeting and "immediately suspend all enrichment-related activities." It says the agency board will decide in November "whether or not further steps are appropriate."
.
The New York Times



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< < Back to Start of Article VIENNA The United States once again failed Friday to persuade the International Atomic Energy Agency to refer Iran's nuclear program to the United Nations Security Council, accepting instead a repetition of calls for the country to stop uranium enrichment activities and clear up questions about its nuclear ambitions.
.
A resolution making those calls is expected to be passed by the agency's 35-member board on Saturday, although several countries were trying late on Friday to water down the resolution's language further.
.
The draft of the resolution as it read Friday would demand a full response by Iran before the agency's board meeting Nov. 25.
.
The United States has been pressing the UN agency for nearly a year to find Iran in breach of its obligations under the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty after the discovery two years ago that the country had hidden much of its nuclear activity for nearly 20 years. Iran has been slow to divulge details of its clandestine research, which the United States is convinced encompasses a nuclear weapons program.
.
But many other countries, led by Britain, France, Germany and Russia, who are not convinced that Iran is intent on building a bomb, favor a softer approach.
.
The international agency has carried out more than a dozen unannounced inspections of Iranian facilities.
.
This week, the agency's head, Mohamed ElBaradei, praised Iran's cooperation and said most issues had been clarified.
.
He said, for example, that traces of highly enriched uranium found on imported centrifuge parts in Iran might well have come from outside the country, as Iran insists.
.
But the United States remains certain that inconsistencies in the program and other clues point to a secret weapons program.
.
The United States suspects a partly buried bunker at a munitions plant in Parchin, 30 kilometers, or 20 miles, southwest of Tehran, could be used to test high-intensity explosives used in a nuclear implosion bomb, in which a sphere of explosives surrounds a core of highly enriched uranium or plutonium.
.
Hossein Mousavian, head of the foreign policy committee of Iran's Supreme National security Council, said Friday that Iran would grant the UN watchdog agency access to the site, though it is not required to do so.
.
"We have never rejected an IAEA inspection," he said.
.
Mousavian argued that Iran was being unfairly penalized, saying that the country had proposed making the Middle East a nuclear weapon-free zone while Israel, which has nuclear weapons, had never signed the Nonproliferation Treaty or accepted agency inspections.
.
"There is clearly a double standard," Mousavian said, adding that Iranian religious leaders had issued a fatwa, or edict, in 1996 that forbade the use of all weapons of mass destruction.
.
"For Iranians, a religious fatwa is more important than any international convention," he said.
.
Former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani of Iran warned Friday in Tehran that Iran would lodge a complaint at the International Court of Justice against the agency for acting outside its powers if the agency demanded that the country stop its enrichment activities.
.
According to the draft of the resolution, Iran must clear up "outstanding issues" in time for ElBaradei to prepare a report for the November meeting and "immediately suspend all enrichment-related activities." It says the agency board will decide in November "whether or not further steps are appropriate."
.
The New York Times VIENNA The United States once again failed Friday to persuade the International Atomic Energy Agency to refer Iran's nuclear program to the United Nations Security Council, accepting instead a repetition of calls for the country to stop uranium enrichment activities and clear up questions about its nuclear ambitions.
.
A resolution making those calls is expected to be passed by the agency's 35-member board on Saturday, although several countries were trying late on Friday to water down the resolution's language further.
.
The draft of the resolution as it read Friday would demand a full response by Iran before the agency's board meeting Nov. 25.
.
The United States has been pressing the UN agency for nearly a year to find Iran in breach of its obligations under the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty after the discovery two years ago that the country had hidden much of its nuclear activity for nearly 20 years. Iran has been slow to divulge details of its clandestine research, which the United States is convinced encompasses a nuclear weapons program.
.
But many other countries, led by Britain, France, Germany and Russia, who are not convinced that Iran is intent on building a bomb, favor a softer approach.
.
The international agency has carried out more than a dozen unannounced inspections of Iranian facilities.
.
This week, the agency's head, Mohamed ElBaradei, praised Iran's cooperation and said most issues had been clarified.
.
He said, for example, that traces of highly enriched uranium found on imported centrifuge parts in Iran might well have come from outside the country, as Iran insists.
.
But the United States remains certain that inconsistencies in the program and other clues point to a secret weapons program.
.
The United States suspects a partly buried bunker at a munitions plant in Parchin, 30 kilometers, or 20 miles, southwest of Tehran, could be used to test high-intensity explosives used in a nuclear implosion bomb, in which a sphere of explosives surrounds a core of highly enriched uranium or plutonium.
.
Hossein Mousavian, head of the foreign policy committee of Iran's Supreme National security Council, said Friday that Iran would grant the UN watchdog agency access to the site, though it is not required to do so.
.
"We have never rejected an IAEA inspection," he said.
.
Mousavian argued that Iran was being unfairly penalized, saying that the country had proposed making the Middle East a nuclear weapon-free zone while Israel, which has nuclear weapons, had never signed the Nonproliferation Treaty or accepted agency inspections.
.
"There is clearly a double standard," Mousavian said, adding that Iranian religious leaders had issued a fatwa, or edict, in 1996 that forbade the use of all weapons of mass destruction.
.
"For Iranians, a religious fatwa is more important than any international convention," he said.
.
Former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani of Iran warned Friday in Tehran that Iran would lodge a complaint at the International Court of Justice against the agency for acting outside its powers if the agency demanded that the country stop its enrichment activities.
.
According to the draft of the resolution, Iran must clear up "outstanding issues" in time for ElBaradei to prepare a report for the November meeting and "immediately suspend all enrichment-related activities." It says the agency board will decide in November "whether or not further steps are appropriate."
.
The New York Times VIENNA The United States once again failed Friday to persuade the International Atomic Energy Agency to refer Iran's nuclear program to the United Nations Security Council, accepting instead a repetition of calls for the country to stop uranium enrichment activities and clear up questions about its nuclear ambitions.
.
A resolution making those calls is expected to be passed by the agency's 35-member board on Saturday, although several countries were trying late on Friday to water down the resolution's language further.
.
The draft of the resolution as it read Friday would demand a full response by Iran before the agency's board meeting Nov. 25.
.
The United States has been pressing the UN agency for nearly a year to find Iran in breach of its obligations under the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty after the discovery two years ago that the country had hidden much of its nuclear activity for nearly 20 years. Iran has been slow to divulge details of its clandestine research, which the United States is convinced encompasses a nuclear weapons program.
.
But many other countries, led by Britain, France, Germany and Russia, who are not convinced that Iran is intent on building a bomb, favor a softer approach.
.
The international agency has carried out more than a dozen unannounced inspections of Iranian facilities."

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