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Draft IAEA Resolution Would Require Iran to Suspend Uranium-Enrichment Program - 2003-09-10

Western diplomats at the International Atomic Energy Agency say they have enough votes to adopt a strong resolution calling for Iran to abide by all of the agency's demands by the end of October.

The western diplomats say they have a comfortable margin of support on the IAEA's Board of Governors, perhaps as much as two-thirds. They say a strongly-worded draft resolution put forward by Britain, France and Germany will likely be adopted on Thursday.

The draft, which is also backed by the United States, calls for Iran to fully co-operate with the agency by the end of October. The draft also calls on Iran to suspend its uranium-enrichment program in the meantime. The resolution, which is also supported by the European Union, as well as Turkey, Japan, and Canada, demands Iran allow unrestricted access to any sites deemed necessary by U.N. inspectors.

A softer draft presented by South Africa calls for Iran to provide information on its nuclear program, but sets no deadline. It also does not mention halting its nuclear-reprocessing activities. This resolution is supported by many countries in the non-aligned movement, of which Iran is a member. But the western diplomats say their resolution will receive the Board of Governors' approval.

The Iranian envoy, Ali Akbar Salehi, told the board Tuesday that threatening language is futile. He said undue pressures and isolation may likely lead to unexpected reactions.

“This is ongoing,” he said. “This process of co-operation has not been stopped, so it is an ongoing process, and we hope that others do not hinder this process, that is all.”

Mr. Salehi told reporters his country would not accept a deadline, nor disclose the origins of its imported nuclear material. But he said Iran would continue to talk with the IAEA about its nuclear program.