On the eve of a key meeting that could open the way to sanctions, Iranians have taken to the streets to show support for their country’s nuclear programme. In Tehran, demonstrators made a human chain around a model of nuclear facilities to show their readiness to defend them if they come under attack.
Iran’s top nuclear negotiator was equally firm in his position. Ali Larijani dismissed calls to stop nuclear research and he warned that large-scale uranium enrichment would be resumed if Iran is referred to the UN Security Council.In fact, the United Nation’s nuclear watchdog has already agreed to report Iran to the body – after Tehran failed to convince the international community of its intention to build power stations rather than atomic bombs.
The Security Council, which can impose sanctions, is waiting until after tomorrow’s meeting of the IAEA board of governors before deciding what action to take.Last-ditch talks with European negotiators failed to resolve the crisis. Washington meanwhile is said to want the Security Council to insist that Iran ceases its nuclear activities, giving it a deadline of up to 60 days – after which the UN body would consider what to do about applying further pressure.