Iran faces November nuclear deadline

France, Britain and Germany have agreed to set a November deadline for Iran to dispel concerns that it is secretly developing nuclear weapons.

    The US has been pushing Europe to get tough with Iran

    But while conceding the key US demand for a deadline, the draft resolution to be formally submitted to the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) does not require Tehran to be automatically reported to the UN Security Council if it fails to meet the time limit.

    The draft says the board of the IAEA will "probably" consider whether further steps are needed after receiving the agency chief Muhammad al-Baradai's next report in November.

    The IAEA has been investigating Tehran's nuclear programme since Iranian exiles reported in 2002 that it was hiding a uranium enrichment plant and a heavy water facility.

    Washington accuses Iran of developing nuclear weapons under cover of an atomic energy programme, a charge Iran vehemently denies.

    Trigger mechanism

    The US had originally hoped that the IAEA board would report Iran next week to the UN Security Council, which has the power to impose sanctions for violations of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

    US officials had been pushing the European Union's big three states to get tough by giving up their strategy of trying to persuade Iran to abandon uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing.

    Washington wanted the Europeans to include a "trigger mechanism" in the text that would automatically require the IAEA board to report Iran to the Security Council in November.

    But a Western diplomat who follows the IAEA said the draft stopped short of this by saying the board would probably consider further steps and 

    made no mention of the Security Council at all.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.