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Diplomats say Iran has nine days to suspend uranium enrichment
Cat : WMD
Date : 2006-07-04 15:49:51                      Reader : 254
Hypocrisy of the West of double standard selective policy must be rejected by all Muslim World and International Community. If sanctions should be taken by UN , it must be against Israel who rejected more than 60 UN resolutions. We should stand all with Iran till Israel obeys UN resolutions.

 

googlenews.com 4/7/2006

Diplomats say Iran has nine days to suspend uranium enrichment

 

Western powers will reactivate efforts to punish Iran through possible United Nations Security Council sanctions unless it suspends uranium enrichment and agrees to talks on its nuclear program by July 12, diplomats said Monday.

The envoys - some of them senior UN diplomats, and all familiar with details of the six-nation drive to persuade Iran to compromise on its nuclear activities - spoke just two days before a key Iran-European Union meeting in Brussels meant to make clear to the Iranians that their time is running out.

On Wednesday, Senior EU envoy Javier Solana will urge top Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani to immediately commit his country to suspending enrichment and starting negotiations on the six-power package, the diplomats said.

They also said Russia and China were closer than ever to supporting the West on UN Security Council action - including sanctions - if Tehran refuses the package of incentives meant to wean it off enrichment.

"We are looking forward to hear from Iran ... the official response," said Cristina Gallach, Solana’s spokeswoman.

A European official outlined more realistic expectations, saying Larijani would likely come back with questions - and perhaps a counterproposal.

If so, the diplomats said, Solana plans to tell him Iran must accept the terms of the package by July 12, when foreign ministers of the five permanent Security Council nations and Germany consult in Paris.

"If Iran has not answered positively by this date, the ministers will likely adopt a decision to resume negotiations on the Security Council resolution," said one of the diplomats, who, like the European official, demanded anonymity in exchange for divulging the game plan on Iran.

The European official said Russia and China are contemplating sending high-level officials to Wednesday’s meeting in a symbolic show of unity with the West.

Work on a UN Security Council resolution was suspended May 3 to allow the six powers to draw up a plan of perks if Iran agrees to a long-term moratorium on enrichment - or punishments that include the threat of selective UN sanctions if it doesn’t. Solana last month presented the rewards to Larijani but made no mention of the punishments, so as not to rile Tehran.

While Iran argues it has a right to the technology under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to generate power, there is increasing international concern that it wants to enrich uranium to weapons-grade levels for use in the fissile core of nuclear warheads.

Iranian officials have said they would not respond to the six-power offer before mid-August, a gambit described by one of the diplomats as an attempt to stall beyond the July 15-17 summit of the Group of Eight industrialized nations in Russia.

Before the summit, the United States and its allies on the Security Council - all G-8 members - "can apply pressure on Russia" to stand with the West on Iran, but that lever will be weakened after the St. Petersburg meeting, one diplomat said.

Possible UN-mandated sanctions include a visa ban on government officials, freezing assets, blocking financial transactions by government figures and those involved in the country’s nuclear program, an arms embargo and a blockade on the shipping of refined oil products to Iran. Rewards include providing Iran with nuclear expertise and hardware, including reactors.

Breaking with a more than two-decade-old ban on high-level diplomatic contact with Tehran, the United States said in late May that it was ready to join in such talks.

But the Americans, along with Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany - the six nations that endorsed the Vienna package - insist that Iran suspend its nascent enrichment activities before talks begin.

Tehran repeatedly has rejected that demand since the six powers agreed on the package in Vienna on June 1.

The six also are seeking Iranian agreement to a long-term moratorium on such ativities, although Russia, China and possibly Germany might push for a less strict interpretation of enrichment and related activities than Washington, London and Paris sent Iran’s nuclear file to the Security Council in February.

But stubborn Russian and Chinese opposition to possible sanctions - and their fears that Security Council action could include the threat of military action - quickly doomed attempts to find agreement.

The decision to hold off on pressuring Iran through the Security Council was made May 8, in part to satisfy China and Russia, which insisted on a diplomatic solution.

But several of the diplomats noted that Moscow and Beijing endorsed the total package - the stick as well as the carrots - at the June 1 meeting.

The Russian view is that "the package is a package. You cannot take one part and leave the others," said a senior UN diplomat familiar with Moscow’s position. Russia is for "an amicable solution, but not at the price of nuclear weapons in the hands of the Iranians."

No new draft resolution has been submitted to the 15-member Security Council since a May 3 version shared with The Associated Press. To keep the Russians and Chinese on board, that British-French draft would likely have to be reworked to massage language referring to Iran as a "threat to international peace and security" while sticking to the idea expressed by that phrase, one diplomat said.

The Russians - and the Chinese - also would have to be reassured that the resolution does not implicitly carry the threat of military enforcement, the diplomat said.

A Security Council order to Iran to "suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities" also would likely be softened in a new draft - while maintaining the message that suspension is mandatory, the diplomat said.

Still, Iranian defiance would likely lessen Russian and Chinese reticence to the point where a new draft that all five permanent council members could agree to could likely be adopted "within days," the diplomat said.


 
 
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