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Sanctions against Iran could take time, say diplomats

It could be weeks before UN begins to consider strengthening sanctions against Iran.

world Updated:

Despite the IAEA report that Iran has failed to comply with the deadline for ending its nuclear enrichment programme, it could be weeks before the Security Council begins considering strengthening of sanctions against Tehran, diplomats say.

When the Council adopted a resolution imposing limited sanctions in December, it had given 60 days time to Iran to comply with its demand and had asked IAEA to report on it at the end of the period.

Even as the deadline was passing, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his country had the right to pursue nuclear technology and will continue to work to reach "our right in the shortest possible time."

So far, diplomats say there is no activity at the United Nations on the issue even though it was known for quite sometime that the International Atomic Agency would report non compliance.

The December resolution had not specified what further action would be taken and that could get embroiled in discussions among the Council members should the US and its allies ask the 15-member body to strengthen the regime.

The New York Times quoted two ambassadors, whom it did not identify, and officials in Washington, to say that Iran's stance had become less truculent and more flexible.

Diplomats at the United Nations say the discussion currently is within the governments as whether it would be necessary to impose fresh sanctions or give more time to the ones already imposed to work.

First Published: Feb 22, 2007 15:05 IST