- Congressman: McAuliffe victory means gun control a winning message
- Clinton aide admits soliciting disgraced D.C. fundraiser; says actions were legal
- Joel Osteen church victimized in $600K theft
- Obama goes shopping at Gap as minimum-wage thanks
- N.J. woman charged after client dies from black-market butt injections
- CIA chief Brennan ‘determined’ to speak out more this year
- Reset? What reset? U.S.-Russia ties at worst since Cold War
- 9/11 terror recruiter released in Syrian prisoner swap
- D.C. elections board gives green light to marijuana legalization initiative
- Elephants can tell difference between human languages: study
U.S. and Russia bridge differences on Iran at nuclear meeting
VIENNA (AP) — The United States and its Western allies have persuaded Russia and China to support a resolution critical of Iran’s nuclear defiance in hope of showing Israel that diplomacy is an alternative to military force in pressuring Tehran, diplomats said Wednesday.
The resolution, which demands that Iran stop activities that could be used to make nuclear arms, cannot be enforced by the 35-nation board of the International Atomic Energy Agency, even if approved by vote or consensus as expected Thursday. But with Israel increasingly floating force as an alternative to failed international efforts to curtail suspected Iranian nuclear activities, the document is significant in seeking to show world-power resolve in pursuing a diplomatic solution to the standoff.
Israel views a nuclear-armed Iran as a mortal threat, citing Iran’s persistent calls for the destruction of the Jewish state, its development of missiles capable of striking Israel, and Iranian support for Arab militant groups.
Tehran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only. But it refuses foreign offers of reactor fuel if it stops making its own through uranium enrichment — a process that worries the international community because it could also be used to arm nuclear warheads.
With fears growing over the possibility of Israeli military attack and other diplomatic efforts on Iran deadlocked, diplomats told The Associated Press that a resolution supported by the six powers seeking to engage Tehran on its nuclear program had become a priority discussed at the highest level.
The text was agreed on only after consultations involving U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her counterparts in Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany, said the diplomats, who demanded anonymity because the negotiating process was confidential.
While the four Western powers had no differences, it was unclear until Wednesday whether Russia and China — which Iran has relied on to blunt harsh U.N. and other sanctions — would agree to join in backing the resolution. The diplomats said that they were persuaded largely with the argument that a signal of big-power unity had to be sent to Israel.
A Russian diplomat refused on Wednesday to discuss how the accord about the resolution came about.
That unity came at a price for the West, however, which had to settle for compromise language in the current text, made available to The AP outside the closed meeting.
While expressing “serious concern” over continued Iranian uranium enrichment in defiance of the U.N. Security Council, the six nations say they back the “inalienable right” of countries that have signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. That is a bow to arguments by Iran, an NPT signatory that it has a right to enrich.
The resolution “stresses” that the IAEA has not reported any nuclear material missing from Iran sites it is monitoring. Missing material could mean that Tehran is using it elsewhere for weapons purposes.
It only “notes” that the agency cannot conclude there is no hidden nuclear activity going on because of “lack of cooperation” by Iran on agency requests that it be given greater powers to monitor the country.
Washington considers any signal to Israel that diplomacy is working crucial amid signs of increased jitters by the Jewish state about Tehran’s nuclear progress.
TWT Video Picks
An America drowning in red ink is the land of the free no more
- Inside the Beltway: A new interest in Rahm Emanuel for 2016?
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- David Jolly wins in Florida, GOP keeps swing district seat
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- 80 people publicly executed across North Korea for films, Bibles
- Liam Neeson tells NYC mayor to 'man up' in horse carriage fight
- House Democrats trying to force unemployment insurance vote
- Atheists sue to remove 'Ground Zero Cross' from 9/11 museum
- Florida lawmakers move to wipe corrupt 'Boss Hogg' town from map
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again