The United Nations nuclear watchdog is due to deliver its verdict on whether Iran has defied a deadline to halt its atomic fuel research. Sanctions are now likely to be imposed if, as expected, the International Atomic Energy Agency finds Tehran has ignored a UN Security Council demand to stop enriching uranium. John Bolton, the US ambassador’s to the UN, says Tehran has left itself with no choice. “If they haven’t done that by August 31st we’ve also said repeatedly that the foreign ministers of the five permanent members of the Security Council have agreed that we’ll have to seek sanctions,” he said.
Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has remained defiant warning that any punishment will not dissuade it from pursuing its nuclear programme. Some analysts believe Iran is withholding answers about its nuclear programme to use as bargaining chips for crunch talks with the world powers.