Russia and China Join IAEA Resolution Criticizing Iran
Russia and China on Wednesday joined Western powers in rounding on Iran at the UN atomic watchdog, AFP reported.
According to the report, after days of haggling, the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany hammered out a resolution criticizing Tehran, at a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency's board of governors in Vienna.
The resolution singles out Iran's defiance of UN Security Council resolutions to suspend uranium enrichment, its refusal to allow IAEA inspectors into the Parchin military base and the suspected removal of evidence of nuclear weapons research.
According to a draft seen by AFP, it stresses "once again its serious concern that Iran continues to defy the requirements and obligations contained in the relevant IAEA Board of Governors and UN Security Council Resolutions."
The broad outlines of a text were agreed upon on Tuesday, but it had been unclear whether it would become merely a statement to be read out at the 35-nation board meeting or a more significant resolution to go to a vote.
The resolution stops short of a referral of Iran to the Security Council, AFP reported. The IAEA resolution, likely to be voted on Thursday, is the 12th in nine years.
The AFP report noted that it is significant that Western nations were able to get Moscow and Beijing on board as they are traditionally more lenient on Tehran, with China a major buyer of Iranian oil and Russia having close commercial ties with Iran.
One Western diplomat in Vienna told AFP that the resolution was bound to pass, with only two countries still "needing to be convinced."
The IAEA's latest report on August 30 said that Iran had doubled since May the capacity at the underground Fordo site by installing around 1,000 new centrifuges.
On Friday, it was reported that several European Union nations are exploring a new raft of sanctions against Iran as exasperation mounts over blocked talks on the country's contested nuclear program.
On Monday, IAEA chief Yukiya Amano called on Iran to open up “without further delay” the Parchin military site, where "powerful tools" could detect traces of covert activities despite Tehran's suspected clean-up work.