Moscow has denied that it offered to let Iran do some atomic research if it refrains from enriching uranium on an industrial scale. The International Atomic Energy Agency, meeting in Vienna, is considering whether to report Tehran to the UN Security Council.
The head of Iran’s IAEA
delegation, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, said:“We still hope that the right decision is made and our European friends and Russians and others spare no effort to find a peaceful settlement of this issue and do not let (the) unilateral policy of the United States take multilateral diplomacy as a hostage.”
France, Britain and Germany broke off direct negotiations after Iran resumed enrichment-related activities. British Prime Minister Tony Blair commented on Tuesday: Iran has got to realise that people do expect these international obligations to be respected and obviously it doesn’t help if some of the statements coming out from Iran are what most people regards as fairly extreme. So we will let the process take its course both in the atomic energy authority and, if necessary, in the UN.”
Washington has hinted that it wants travel and financial sanctions imposed on Iran if it refuses to halt uranium enrichment.
On Tuesday US Vice President Dick Cheney threatened “meaningful consequences” if Iran did not change course.
Senior US officials have repeatedly refused to rule out the use of force.
Tehran says its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes, in other words for power stations and not to develop atomic weapons.