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US Calls for UN Action on Iran's Nuclear Program

  • Marlene Smith

U.S. diplomats have told the International Atomic Energy Agency board of governors that it is time for the United Nations Security Council to take action to stop Iran from building a nuclear weapons capability. There is increasing frustration on the IAEA board with Iran's defiance of the international community.

The IAEA concluded its three-day review of Iran's nuclear program without making any new decisions.

The U.S. envoy to the IAEA, Gregory Schulte, says an updated file on Iran's activities will now go the U.N. Security Council in New York.

"The director general's report will now be transmitted to New York for action by the Security Council," he said.

The last special board meeting of the IAEA at the beginning of February gave Iran time to cooperate with inspectors and stop uranium enrichment. The board reported to the U.N. Security Council then that action might be necessary if Iran did not use this last minute window of opportunity.

The latest IAEA report, one of many in the last three years of investigations, says it is still not possible to give guarantees that Iran is not secretly working on a nuclear weapons program. It says Iran's cooperation is selective and on occasion access to sites, particularly related to the military, has been denied.

Iran has denounced the report as "politicized" and says it has allowed thousands of inspections well beyond those legally required.

But Matthew Boland, press spokesman for the U.S. mission to the IAEA in Vienna, says Iran was still following the path of deception.

"Iran's leadership is forging ahead to achieve a complete nuclear fuel cycle capability," he said.

The United States wants the matter to now go before the United Nations Security Council, maybe as early as next week. The Council, unlike the IAEA, has the power to impose sanctions but diplomats say this is unlikely at this stage.

Iran has threatened to hit back if the Security Council is involved and is threatening to inflict what it calls "harm and pain" on the West. One possibility would be to cut oil from Iran to European customers.

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