Thursday, March 9, 2006 (New Delhi): The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed El Baradei has presented his report on Iran’s nuclear programme to the IAEA Board of Governors in Vienna.
The report has raised questions about Iran’s claim that its pursuit of nuclear technology is for peaceful purposes only. IAEA’s report will now be forwarded to the UN Security Council next week for consideration of possible punitive action against Iran.
The UN nuclear watchdog took the decision after debating El Baradei’s report, which suggested that it was still not clear if there were any undeclared nuclear activities in Iran.
Iran faces sanction The UN Security Council has the power to impose sanctions, but it is to be seen if all its key members will support the move. The United States, Britain, France and Germany are seeking a referral to the UN Security Council at a meeting of the IAEA in Vienna. The US has accused Iran of possessing enough nuclear material for 10 atomic bombs and it was time for the Security Council to act.
"Iran has not met the conditions at the IAEA. We will therefore start a new phase of diplomacy – action by the UNSC starting next week," said Nicholas Burns, US Assistant Secretary of State
Defiant Iran — Iran has warned the United States against ‘harm and pain’ if the latter chooses the path of confrontation. "In this stage we are trying to avoid confrontation but on the other hand, the United States may have the power to cause harm and pain but it is also susceptible to harm and pain. So if the United States wishes to choose that path let the ball roll," said Javad Vaeedi, Deputy Secretary, Supreme National Council, Iran.
If the Security Council does take action, its first step is likely to issue a demand that Iran stops nuclear activities by a certain deadline. It might then issue a further warning before beginning to consider sanctions