Iran Nuclear NewsAustralia backs UN action on Iran

Australia backs UN action on Iran


AP: Australia has added its voice to nations calling for Iran to be reported to the United Nations Security Council for breaches of international nuclear safeguards. Associated Press

Australia has added its voice to nations calling for Iran to be reported to the United Nations Security Council for breaches of international nuclear safeguards.

The call, which is strongly opposed by Russia and China, follows Iran’s decision to resume uranium processing last month. Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, who is in New York where he will chair an international nuclear conference, said Australia was concerned at the prospect of Iran proceeding with its nuclear program.

“That’s of course, of great concern to us, but over and above that, the International Atomic Energy Agency has been concerned that Iran hasn’t always fulfilled its obligations under the IAEA,” he said.

“This is a matter that is being considered by the Board of Governors now and many of the members of the Board of Governors, including Australia, believe that this is a matter that should be referred to the United Nations Security Council for further consideration.”

Ahead of a meeting with the Iranian foreign minister, Mr Downer said he would discuss Iran’s obligations as a member of the international community.

“I’d like to encourage him to think again to ensure that Iran can be a full participant in the mainstream of the international community, amongst other things, involves a commitment to the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,” he said.

“The concern we have about Iran going down the nuclear path is a very serious concern and is held by many countries.”

On North Korea’s wavering commitment to giving up its nuclear weapons program, Mr Downer described the agreement as a significant step forward.

“But remember, all that’s been reached is an agreement on principles and the implementation of this agreement I think is going to take a good deal of time and a lot of work,” he said.

“I don’t have any illusions about how hard it will be to implement.”

North Korea pledged at six-nation talks in Beijing on Monday to give up its atomic weapons program in return for energy and security guarantees.

But it warned yesterday that the offer was conditional on US concessions.

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