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Iran nuke issue: No consensus at UNSC

The five permanent members of UNSC have failed to narrow down their differences on the Iranian nuke issue.

india Updated: May 06, 2006 16:26 IST

The five veto-wielding permanent members of UN Security Council have failed to narrow down their differences on a tough Franco-British draft on the Iranian nuclear issue, virtually dashing the hope for adoption of a resolution before their Foreign Ministers' meeting on Monday.

The diplomats and experts from the five countries -- the US, Britain, Russia, France and China -- had a daylong informal discussion on Friday but Moscow and Beijing stood firm on their opposition to invoking Chapter 7 of the UN Charter which makes the resolution describing the Iranian uranium enrichment as threat to international peace and security mandatory.

Mincing no words, China's UN Ambassador Wang Guangya said the reference to Chapter 7 and threat to international peace and security need to be removed from the resolution.

But Western diplomats said that much dilution would make the resolution meaningless. The two provisions were the heart of the resolution, they asserted.

Iran, they said, needed to be sent a clear message that it must respect the demands of the international community and suspend its uranium enrichment programme.

The enriched uranium can be used both as fuel for power plants and for making nuclear weapons. Iran maintains its programme is for peaceful purposes but Western nations suspect that Tehran is trying to produce nuclear arms clandestinely.

Though the five plan to continue their discussions over the weekend ahead of their Foreign Ministers' meeting in New York on Monday, Council diplomats said there is still a wide chasm between their positions, the bridging of which would take time.