UNSC permanent members reach deal on Iran
The five permanent members of the UN Security Council agreed on a statement on Wednesday demanding that Iran suspend uranium enrichment.india Updated: Mar 30, 2006 04:45 IST
The five permanent members of the UN Security Council agreed on a statement on Wednesday demanding that Iran suspend uranium enrichment, setting the stage for the first action by the powerful body over fears that Tehran wants a nuclear weapon.
The 15 members of the council planned to meet later Wednesday to approve the statement, which is not legally binding. Uranium enrichment is a process that can lead to a nuclear weapon. The council has struggled for three weeks to come up with a written rebuke that would urge Iran to comply with several demands from the board of the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, to clear up suspicions about its intentions. Tehran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.
"The council is expressing its clear concern and is saying to Iran that it should comply with the wishes of the governing board," Britain's UN Ambassador Emyr Jones-Parry told reporters. The West believes council action will help isolate Iran and put new pressure on it to clear up suspicions about its intentions. They have proposed an incremental approach, refusing to rule out sanctions.
US officials have said the threat of military action must also remain on the table.