S Africa says Iran deal still possible

As pressure builds to report Iran to the UN Security Council for nuclear treaty violations, South Africa said it remained confident that a negotiated settlement could be achieved within the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

    President Ahmadinejad is defiant despite the risk of sanctions

    South Africa, a member of the 35-nation IAEA board, has played a key role in efforts to ensure a deal on Iran in line with its policy of giving all nations the right to use nuclear energy for civilian purposes.

    Tehran says it wants nuclear power only for electricity but the IAEA, the UN nuclear watchdog, is likely to report Iran to the Security Council over fears that it may be using its nuclear programme to build atom bombs.

    The IAEA vote, originally due late on Friday has been deferred to Saturday.

    Should it be reported to the Council, Iran has threatened to respond by stopping UN spot checks of its atomic sites as part of the world treaty to deter clandestine nuclear bomb-making.

    Russia and China have endorsed a European-sponsored resolution to put the council on notice as long as Tehran is given at least a month to co-operate fully with the UN investigations before further action, possibly sanctions, are taken.

    Aziz Pahad, the South African deputy foreign minister and main diplomat for the Middle East, said that whatever decision is taken, it would not aggravate the situation and that there would still be room for negotiation.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.