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'UNSC to back IAEA demands on Iran N-plan'

Britain's UN envoy has said that the UN Security Council was likely to endorse demands by the UN nuclear watchdog agency.

india Updated: Mar 02, 2006 08:47 IST
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Britain's UN envoy has said that the UN Security Council was likely to endorse demands by the UN nuclear watchdog agency that Iran give assurances it is not pursuing a covert nuclear weapons programme.

Emyr Jones Parry said a crucial meeting of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board of governors, scheduled for Monday, would most likely report the Iran nuclear dossier to the Security Council, which has the power to impose sanctions.

"It would surprise me if as a result of that Board meeting the issue is not reported to the Security Council, reported to, not referred to," the British envoy said.

"We are not transferring the issue to the Security Council. What we're saying is the dossier is rightly in Vienna but it's right that the Security Council should be appraised of the situation and should make clear its support for what the Board is asking," he noted. "That's what I would expect to happen."

His comments appears to be at odds with the view expressed by US ambassador John Bolton that there is no difference between reporting and referring the issue to the council. A referral would open the way to possible sanctions.

On Monday the IAEA said in a report that questions remained about Iran's nuclear programme but it stopped short of saying the Islamic republic was secretly seeking a nuclear arms capability.

Iran maintains its nuclear programme is solely aimed at generating electricity.