Reuters: The United States expects Iran will be referred to the U.N. Security council over fears it may be developing nuclear weapons, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Friday.
WASHINGTON – The United States expects Iran will be referred to the U.N. Security council over fears it may be developing nuclear weapons, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Friday.
Rice appealed to China, Russia and India to join the United States and the European Union in pushing Iran to give up its nuclear ambitions and to make clear that Iran should not be allowed to break previous agreements.
Iran insists its atomic ambitions are peaceful and has been lobbying Russia, China, India and others to fight against any referral to the Security Council, which has the power to impose economic sanctions against Iran.
A report by the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which was circulated to its members last week, indicated Iran was not meeting its promises to the international community, said Rice.
“We have all said that the next step to be expected would be referral to the Security Council. I think that after the IAEA report a couple of days ago it is clear that Iran is not living up to its obligations and so U.N. Security Council referral seems to be a reasonable option,” Rice told a news conference.
EU and U.S. diplomats have been lobbying key members of the IAEA to send Iran’s case to the Security Council after it resumed uranium processing at Isfahan last month, a facility that had been mothballed under a November 2004 agreement with the EU’s three biggest powers — France, Britain and Germany.
Rice said the so-called EU3 had negotiated with Iran in good faith but Tehran had not and action would have to be taken.