Iran nuclear crisis: UNSC members meet in London

Officials from UNSC's five permanent members were holding talks regarding Iran's resumption of nuke activities.

india Updated: Jan 17, 2006 15:43 IST

Senior officials from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany were holding talks in London on Monday regarding Iran's resumption of controversial nuclear activities.

Representatives of Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States were expected to discuss a date for an emergency meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) 35-nation board of governors, which could refer Iran to the UN Security Council.

A British Foreign Office spokeswoman refused to provide details about the meeting, which is taking place at the level of political directors, saying only that it was to discuss "next steps" regarding Iran.

Britain, France and Germany, which led drawn-out negotiations with Iran over its nuclear programme, said last week the talks were dead and called for UN referral after Tehran broke IAEA seals at three nuclear plants to resume uranium enrichment research.

Enriched uranium can fuel nuclear reactors, but if highly enriched it can also form the explosive core of an atomic bomb.

The United States suspects that Iran's nuclear programme is aimed at building a nuclear weapon, a charge that Tehran has repeatedly denied.

Tehran has threatened to withhold cooperation with IAEA inspectors if it is referred to the Security Council, and warned it would not submit to any decisions imposed on it.

Russia, which has offered to let Iran enrich uranium on its territory as a possible solution to the crisis, has hinted it may not object to referral.

First Published: Jan 16, 2006 17:49 IST