US rejects UN's 'timeout' proposal on Iran
Washington has led calls for Tehran to halt uranium enrichment, accusing Iranian leaders of secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons.Updated: Jan 30, 2007 11:42 IST
The United States has rejected a proposal by the UN nuclear chief to call "timeout" in the Iranian nuclear crisis, saying the UN resolutions already being applied were not up for renegotiation.
"There is a path laid out for suspension and that is Iranian suspension of their enrichment activities to be responded to by the Council. So that is very clear and it's not subject to reinterpretation," the US representative to the United Nations, Alejandro Wolff, said on Monday.
UN nuclear chief Mohamad ElBaradei proposed on Friday that to end the standoff Tehran should stop uranium enrichment and the UN should simultaneously suspend sanctions against the Islamic republic.
Washington has led calls for Tehran to halt uranium enrichment, accusing Iranian leaders of secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons.
A UN Security Council resolution passed on December 23 imposed sanctions on Iran until it suspends uranium enrichment, which makes fuel for civilian nuclear reactors but also produces material for atomic bombs.
But Iran continues to defy the international community and has vowed to increase its enrichment capacity by installing 3,000 centrifuges, arguing that its nuclear programme is strictly for civilian energy purposes.
Russia's Ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, was more upbeat about ElBaradei's proposal however, saying "all acts would have to be verified. I personally read ElBaradei's remarks as a very useful reminder of the positive clauses that are included in the resolution.
First Published: Jan 30, 2007 11:42 IST