Iran Nuclear NewsIran could review IAEA ties over UN draft: Larijani

Iran could review IAEA ties over UN draft: Larijani

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Reuters: Iran will review relations with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) if the U.N. Security Council presses ahead with a European draft resolution imposing sanctions, Iran’s nuclear negotiator said on Friday. By Oleg Shchedrov

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Iran will review relations with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) if the U.N. Security Council presses ahead with a European draft resolution imposing sanctions, Iran’s nuclear negotiator said on Friday.

The European draft resolution demands nations prevent the sale and supply of equipment, technology and financing contributing to Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. It was drawn up by Britain, France and Germany.

Russia, a veto-wielding Security Council member like Britain and France, has proposed major deletions to the draft, including eliminating an assets freeze and a travel ban.

“We will review our relations with the IAEA if the U.N. accepts the Euro-troika resolution without taking into account the amendments made by Russia,” Ali Larijani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency.

Larijani was speaking shortly after arriving in Moscow for talks with Russian security and foreign ministry officials. He did not specify what the review of relations with the IAEA could mean.

Iran ended snap inspections of its nuclear facilities in February after its case was referred to the U.N. Security Council. It has threatened to curtail IAEA inspections altogether if the Security Council took action against it.

Tehran says its nuclear ambitions are limited to energy production while the United States fears it wants nuclear weapons.

HEAVY PRESSURE

Russia, which has so far backed Iran in its stand-off with the West, is now under heavy U.S. pressure to agree to tougher wording on sanctions.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday Moscow would agree to limited U.N. actions against Iran if they had a defined timeframe and there was an agreed mechanism for lifting them.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice talked via telephone on Wednesday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to discuss the Iran resolution, Rice’s spokesman Sean McCormack said in Washington.

“She’s doing her part to get this resolution over the goal line,” McCormack told reporters.

“We are chipping away at some of the issues but this is multilateral diplomacy and it takes a little bit of time.”

Russia says any punitive action against Iran should encourage it to more talks, rather than corner Tehran and make it even more defiant.

“As Mr. Larijani is visiting Moscow, we are hoping it will produce results which will break this deadlock we have in our relations with Iran,” Russia’s U.N. ambassador Vitaly Churkin said on Thursday.

McCormack said the West wanted Tehran to stop all enrichment of nuclear material.

“We would hope that he (Larijani) would go there (to Moscow) with a message that they are ready to give up all enrichment-related activities” he said. “That would be welcome news.”

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