Finally it happened. The belligerent Islamic regime in Tehran will be referred for Sanctions to the UN Security Council by the IAEA.........
Nuclear watchdog clears way for Iran's referral to UN
24/09/2005 - 19:30:55
The International Atomic Energy Agency’s board today approved a resolution that clears the way for referring Iran to the UN Security Council over its nuclear program.
Diplomats inside the meeting said, however, that only 22 of the 35 board nations voted for the US-backed European Union motion, reflecting the divisions over referral.
Only twice in the past two decades has the IAEA board voted on an issue instead of adopting a resolution by consensus. Both of those were on sending North Korea to the council – in 1993 and 2003 – for breaking with the non-Non-proliferationproliferation treaty.
Board nations Russia and China, which are also veto-wielding Security Council members, abstained from today’s vote, along with 10 other nations, all of them developing countries, diplomats said. Among those voting for the resolution were European countries on the board, along with the US, Canada, Australia and Japan.
Venezuela cast the only vote against.
The EU draft resolution adopted by the board was one submitted yesterday, after last-minute talks collapsed with Russia and China on modifications meant to make the text milder in exchange for Moscow’s and Beijing’s overt support.
That EU draft called on the board to consider reporting Iran to the council. As grounds, it mentioned non-compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and suspicions that Iran’s nuclear activities could threaten international peace and security.
The approval reflected board concern over Iran’s “long history of concealment and deception,” despite the divisions among board members, said the chief US representative to the meeting, Gregory Schulte.
In opting for referral, the board is “concerned that Iran’s activities pose an increasing threat to international peace and security,” Schulte told reporters. “The IAEA has called on Iran to … come clean.”
But Iran’s delegation head, Javad Vaeidi, said strong opposition by a large minority of board members reflected that “there is no consensus on the way forward.” He warned of retaliation, declaring: “Threat invokes threat.”
Tehran had already warned that, if the resolution was approved, it could respond by starting uranium enrichment – a possible path to nuclear arms – and by reducing IAEA powers to inspect its activities under the additional agreement it had signed but not yet ratified.
Diplomats accredited to the agency who sought anonymity because their information was confidential said that both threats were contained in unsigned letters and shown by a member of the Iranian delegation to the IAEA chief, Mohamed Elbaradei.
The Security Council could impose sanctions if it determines that Iran violated the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, but the draft made no mention of sanctions, in recognition of Russian and Chinese opposition.
Still, it was unequivocal in saying that – unless Iran ends uranium conversion and clears up questions remaining about its past nuclear activities – grounds exist for it to be referred to the Security Council.
A nation’s failure to comply with the nonproliferation treaty is automatic grounds for a report to the Security Council under IAEA statutes, and the draft said “Iran’s many failures and breaches of its obligations … constitute non-compliance.”
Additionally, Iran’s spotty record on co-operating with an IAEA investigation that began in 2002 has led to an “absence of confidence that Iran’s nuclear programme is exclusively for peaceful purposes,” the document said.
That finding puts Iran “within the competence of the Security Council, as the organ bearing the main responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security,” the text said.
SOURCE: Ireland On Line.