US agrees with Europe on Iran

The US has agreed along with France, Germany and Britain on a United Nations resolution that both condemns Iran for concealing its atomic programme in the past while encouraging its new policy of transparency.

    Demonstrators in Iran were angered by Washington's threats

    The compromise draft falls short of what Washington originally hoped for – censuring Iran for breaches of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which in turn could have led to economic sanctions being levied against the Islamic Republic.
       
    "The resolution has been tabled," an unidentified Western diplomat told Reuters. He said the draft would be discussed at Wednesday's IAEA Board of Governors meeting.
       
    The latest working copy of the agreement calls for the IAEA's governing board to "meet immediately to consider all options at its disposal" if any further violations of Tehran's international non-proliferation obligations are uncovered. 

    'Trigger mechanism'

    During discussions the US pushed the European negotiators toWashington's threatsharden the wording of what Washington calls a "trigger mechanism", which would warn Iran that if it was guilty of any more violations it could be reported to the UN Security Council.

    Iranian President Khatami denies
    ambitions to make nuclear arms

    A senior US State Department official, who declined to be named, said the new draft clarified the board would mull reporting Iran to the Security Council in the event of further violations.

    Still, it does not state this explicitly, thus making the document acceptable to both the Europeans and Tehran, Reuters reported, citing the State Department representative.
       
    The US accuses Iran of wanting to develop nuclear weapons. On Friday, the IAEA board adjourned to give the 35 board members time to work out a compromise on the text. 

    Constructive engagement
       
    The French, British and Germans all want to encourage Iran to continue with its policy of cooperation with the international nuclear watchdog. They tabled two previous resolutions that were rejected by US negotiators as too soft.
       
    The draft has some sharp language on Iran's nuclear concealment. It "strongly deplores Iran's past failures and breaches of its obligation to comply with...its Safeguards Agreement" under the NPT.
       
    Originally, Washington had pushed the board to pass a resolution that would declare Iran in "non-compliance" with the NPT and would report it to the Security Council. US officials later dropped these demands when it realised there was little
    support on the board for their inclusion in the resolution.
       
    The resolution follows an IAEA report that found Iran had concealed a uranium enrichment programme for 18 years and secretly reprocessed plutonium, useable in weapons.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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