February 02, 2006

Idle Worship


From CNN: 'Critical phase' in Iran standoff.

The International Atomic Energy Agency's board of governors ended their first session of talks on whether to delay reporting Iran to the U.N. Security Council amid threats by the Islamic state that it would start enriching uranium if its nuclear activities were sent to the council.

"There is a disagreement among board members whether to report the Iranian issue now to the Security Council or at a later stage," IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei said Thursday.

If the board agrees to the delay, it could help bolster the opportunity for negotiations to get Iran to halt its nuclear activities.

ElBaradei said all of the members agree that the Security Council should not take any action, namely impose any sanctions against Iran, until he presents his report on Iran's nuclear program to the board in March.

UPDATE I -- Feb. 3: From Reuters: IAEA delays vote to report Iran to UN Security Council.

The U.N. nuclear watchdog put off until Saturday a vote to report Iran to the U.N. Security Council over concerns it is seeking atomic bombs, as European Union powers lobbied developing nations to back the measure.

Diplomats said a clear majority on the International Atomic Energy Agency's 35-nation board favored notifying the council on Iran but the EU held up the vote to try to hammer out a broad consensus with developing states without abstentions.

The delay arose from developing countries' attempts since Thursday to soften an EU-initiated resolution to report Iran after the Islamic Republic threatened to curb U.N. inspections of its atomic sites if sent to the Security Council.

UPDATE II -- Feb. 4: From FoxNews: Iran Promises Retaliation for Referral to U.N. Security Council.

The U.N. nuclear watchdog on Saturday reported Iran to the U.N. Security Council in a resolution expressing concern Tehran's nuclear program may not be "exclusively for peaceful purposes." Iran said it would retaliate immediately.

The landmark decision by the International Atomic Energy Agency's 35-nation board sets the stage for future action by the top U.N. body, which has the authority to impose economic and political sanctions.

Still, any such moves were weeks if not months away. Two permanent council members, Russia and China, agreed to referral only on condition the council take no action before March.

Posted by Forkum at February 2, 2006 05:52 PM