An Iranian pressure group has staged a demonstration calling for Tehran to be referred to the UN Security Council over its nuclear programme. Monday’s protest happened outside the headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna as diplomats tried to strike a deal over the issue inside.
There was fresh hope of agreement after it emerged Iran may agree to extend its proposed moratorium on industrial-scale production of nuclear fuel if it can run a small scale research programme. IAEA chief Mohammed ElBaradei said: “Everybody also would like to see a balance between Iran’s right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and assurances to the international community that that programme is exclusively for peaceful purposes. How we can strike that balance, that’s the art of creative diplomacy, which I hope everybody is engaging in as we speak.” The Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appears to have toned down his rhetoric, telling reporters: “We want to see a peaceful and tranquil world and therefore want to work on the basis of international regulations.” The Iranians insist they want nuclear technology to generate power, not make atomic bombs, as claimed by the West. Tehran could face UN sanctions if diplomacy fails.