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US plans UNSC face-off for Iran over nuclear row

The West fears that Iran may use the enrichment technology for developing nuclear weapons if allowed to go ahead.

india Updated: Jan 11, 2006 17:06 IST

Washington haswarned that Iran might have to answer the United Nations Security Council if it decides to go ahead with plans of reviving its nuclear research programmes.

White House Press Secretary McClellan issued the warning in a statement wherehe made very clear that the issue might be referred to the UNSC if Iran does not comply with previous agreements and "does not negotiate in good faith" with the international community.

A major concern was that Iran might use the enrichment technology for manufacturing nuclear weapons if it was allowed to go ahead.

McClellan added that"a growing majority within the international community" shares this view.

In recent days, all five permanent council members, including Russia and China, have sent Iran similar messages urging Tehran not to follow through with threats to resume nuclear activities, and return to negotiations.

He said that Iran's move to reopen the previously sealed nuclear equipment at its Natanz facility risked a "major escalation" of the country's stand-off with the international community over its nuclear intentions.

He added thatthe US was consulting with other governments concerned about what to do next, including the possible calling of an emergency session of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) governing board.

Should Iran proceed with Uranium enrichment and reprocessing, it will further violate the November 2004 Paris Agreement negotiated with France, Germany and the United Kingdom, he added.

McCormack said, "They call it research and development. They call it a small programme. Well, when it comes to enrichment technology, there are no small programmes concerning Iran. Because what they want to do is develop the expertise in enriching Uranium so they can produce the fissile material that would allow them to build a nuclear weapon."

He added what the Iranians are essentially asking the world community to do is trust them when they say that their enrichment plans are limited.

However, he said, given Iran's "history of deception" on the issue, and a recent series of "alarming" statements by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, international trust has eroded to the point of being non-existent.

US officials have said that Iran's expressed desire for a complete nuclear fuel cycle is inexplicable given its oil and gas wealth, and they have long maintained that its nominally peaceful nuclear programme conceals a long-running secret weapons development effort.

First Published: Jan 11, 2006 10:43 IST