The United Nations nuclear watchdog says Iran has failed to meet today’s deadline to halt work the West fears could lead to atomic bombs. The UN Security Council had asked Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the IAEA, to spell out whether the Islamic Republic had complied with its resolution.
“We are still having on our agenda, at least at the IAEA, a couple of cases where one of them, North Korea, said that they have developed nuclear weapons,” he said. “Another, Iran, where we are very much having work in progress to establish the peaceful nature of their programme.”
But, with the deadline passed, Washington now says world powers are poised to begin discussing punitive measures against Iran whose president today vowed never to abandon the nuclear programme. A senior IAEA official said there is no proof that it has a military purpose and EU nations are still hoping to find a compromise. The bloc’s foreign policy chief Javier Solana will hold talks with the chief Iranian negotiator next week – on the eve of a crunch meeting between the big powers.