AFP : Iran’s refusal to comply with a UN demand to freeze its uranium enrichment activities by Thursday is expected to be taken up by the Security Council in mid-September, Britain’s UN envoy said Tuesday. UNITED NATIONS, Aug 29, 2006 (AFP) – Iran’s refusal to comply with a UN demand to freeze its uranium enrichment activities by Thursday is expected to be taken up by the Security Council in mid-September, Britain’s UN envoy said Tuesday.
“I would expect the dossier to come back into the council shortly, but only after a further period of discussion among capitals,” Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry told reporters. “I would expect activities here to resume toward the middle of September.”
Jones Parry said the 15 council members and their respective capitals would first need to assess a report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Iran’s compliance with the demand that it freeze its uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities.
He said capitals would then have “a clearer view of exactly how this should be carried forward.”
The Security Council has given Iran an August 31 deadline to suspend all uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities. Iran has insisted it has no intention of abandoning such work.
And Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday it was “unlikely” the council would act against Iran over its nuclear program.
“We have said everything in our response. I think the time to use the instrument of the Security Council has expired,” he told reporters, referring to an Iranian answer to an international package of incentives over its nuclear programme.
“I see it as unlikely that they want to use it (the Security Council). Using nuclear energy is Iran’s right and we want to use it according to international law.”
China and Russia, two veto-wielding permanent council members which have major economic interests in Iran, are hostile to the idea of sanctions and want a return to full negotiations.
Meanwhile France offered Tuesday to renew talks with Tehran to end the standoff while still insisting it freeze sensitive nuclear work.
“The Iranian authorities say they are open to dialogue and ready to resume discussions,” Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy told a meeting of French ambassadors in Paris.
“Without abandoning the demand to suspend sensitive activities, France is also ready to renew dialogue. But it must be a clear, concrete and responsible dialogue,” he said.
Jones Parry made a similar point here, noting: “We are open to negotiation but to be open to negotiations and to start them we need from the Iranians a clear decision to suspend enrichment and research and development and we have not had that.”
Uranium enrichment can produce the fuel for the generation of nuclear power, or in extended form can be the fissile core of an atomic bomb.
Western countries suspect Tehran is trying to acquire a covert nuclear weapons capability under the guise of a civilian nuclear program which the Iranians insist is solely aimed at generating electricity.