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UK, France introduce UNSC resolution on Iran

The UN resolution will set the stage for sanctions against Iran if it does not abandon uranium enrichment.

india Updated: May 04, 2006 10:53 IST

Britain and France introduced a UN Security Council resolution on Wednesday that would be legally binding and set the stage for sanctions against Iran if it does not abandon uranium enrichment.

Diplomats said they hoped the resolution, backed by the United States but opposed by China and Russia, will be adopted before a meeting of foreign ministers in New York next Monday. The resolution mandates that Iran "shall suspend all enrichment related and reprocessing activities," according to the text presented to the council.

But Iran nuclear chief Gholamreza Aghazadeh said on Wednesday his nation had enriched uranium to the upper end of the range needed to make fuel for reactors, further defying UN demands. Iran announced April 11 it had enriched uranium for the first time. The resolution also calls on Iran to stop construction of a heavy-water reactor. It will seek a report back from the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, on Iran's compliance.

"Once again, the key to this lies in Iran's hands," US Ambassador John Bolton said. "If they give up the pursuit of nuclear weapons, a lot of things are possible. If they continue to bluster and to threaten and obfuscate and try to throw sand in our eyes, then we're onto a different circumstance." No timeframe has been set for that report but France's UN Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sabliere said he wants that report no later than early June.

First Published: May 04, 2006 04:56 IST