- The Washington Times - Friday, September 9, 2005

VIENNA, Austria — The European Union is ready to call for Iran to be brought before the U.N. Security Council as a “clear signal of concern” over Tehran’s nuclear activities, according to a confidential document obtained yesterday.

The document confirms the position of EU negotiators Britain, France and Germany, faced with Iran’s continuing nuclear fuel work that could be related to developing atomic weapons.

Tehran’s refusal to stop the nuclear fuel work has led to threats from U.S. and EU leaders to ask the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), when it meets in Vienna, Austria, on Sept. 19 to haul Iran before the Security Council.

The EU trio “believe that the issue should be resolved diplomatically but are convinced that this will only be possible by the broader international community sending Tehran a clear signal of concern and appealing to it to return to the negotiating table,” said the “speaking notes” given to IAEA diplomats this week, according to a diplomat who did not want to be named.

The notes said that “by resuming suspended fuel cycle activity, Iran is challenging the authority of the IAEA and raising further doubts about her programs.”

The document said the “European side sees reporting Iran to the Security Council as a means of reinforcing authority of IAEA resolutions and the diplomatic process.”

A senior EU diplomat said the speaking notes reflect thinking that would go into drafting a resolution on Iran for the IAEA meeting.

“This is highly official. This is the line being presented all over the globe,” the diplomat said.

Iran suspended the fuel cycle work last year under an agreement with the EU trio, but broke the suspension in early August, saying it was a right under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The IAEA on Aug. 11 called on Iran to halt the work.

European diplomats have said the goal would be to get Iran to heed the IAEA call and they would not at first ask the Security Council, which unlike the IAEA has enforcement powers, to impose sanctions.

“The objective is to ensure that Iran satisfies the international community that we can have confidence in her programs,” the speaking notes say.

Diplomacy is focused on a U.N. summit in New York next week that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Russian President Vladimir Putin will be attending.

Diplomats agree that the summit is a last chance to find some sort of formula to avoid a clash over an IAEA referral of Iran to the Security Council.

Russia, which is building Iran’s first nuclear power plant, has said it would not back an IAEA referral but Western states believe they could win a vote on the matter, diplomats said.

Mr. Ahmadinejad and Mr. Putin are to meet in New York but apparently there are no plans for the Iranian president to meet with either the British, French or German leaders.

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