NewsSpecial WireThree European powers circulate revised draft on Iran nuclear...

Three European powers circulate revised draft on Iran nuclear issue

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AFP: Britain, France and Germany on Thursday circulated a revised draft resolution in the UN Security Council that legally requires Iran to suspend all uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities. UNITED NATIONS, July 20, 2006 (AFP) – Britain, France and Germany on Thursday circulated a revised draft resolution in the UN Security Council that legally requires Iran to suspend all uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities.

The draft presented by the three European powers during informal consultations was an amended version of a text that has been under discussion this week by the council’s five permanent members and Germany.

It “decides that Iran shall suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development, to be verified by the IAEA (the UN nuclear watchdog), and suspend the construction of a reactor moderated by heavy water.”

The text, which was made available to reporters, invokes articles 39 and 40 of Chapter Seven of the UN charter that stipulate “provisional measures” to be taken ahead of imposing tougher steps such as sanctions.

But it also expresses its intention in the event of Iran’s non-compliance with the enrichment freeze demand “to adopt such further measures under Article 41 of Chapter Seven as may be necessary to ensure compliance.”

Article 41 provides for a broad range of economic sanctions but does not authorize the use of force.

The new text also calls on all states “immediately to take steps to prevent the transfer of any items, materials, goods and technology that could contribute to Iran’s enrichment-related and reprocessing activities and ballistic missile programs.”

It was discussed in informal consultations early Thursday by ambassadors from Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany.

“We did have a discussion this morning that brought us a little bit forward,” US Ambassador John Bolton told reporters. “We’re going to have an expert’s meeting this afternoon (among the six envoys) to consider two important parts of the resolution and we’ll meet again tomorrow.”

Bolton, who wants to see the resolution passed this week, said: “I’m not sure how we’ll do this by Friday. But creative minds might yet find a way through.”

Last week, ministers of the six nations agreed at a meeting in Paris to send the Iran nuclear dossier back to the council after Tehran failed to respond to the demand for a uranium enrichment freeze.

And Monday, G8 countries — Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States — issued a statement at their Saint Petersburg summit calling on Iran to accept the proposal for resolving concern over its nuclear program.

The proposal calls on Iran to drop plans to enrich uranium itself in exchange for a package of trade, technology, diplomatic and other incentives as well as multilateral talks — also involving the United States.

But Iran says it only wants to enrich to the low levels needed to make reactor fuel and that this is a right under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

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