EU to refer Iran nuclear issue to UN Security Council: EU official

The EU-3 -- Germany, France and Britain -- are working on a draft resolution to urge the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to bring Iran before the UN Security Council over the nuclear crisis, local media quoted an EU official as saying.

Disappointed at Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech on Saturday at the UN General Assembly in New York, the EU-3 agreed to refer the Iran nuclear issue to the UN Security Council, which could make resolutions or apply sanctions to force Tehran to halt nuclear fuel cycle work, the report said.

Diplomats of the three countries were to meet on Sunday evening to discuss the key issues of the draft, which was expected to be presented to the IAEA board on Monday, according to sources.

The UN atomic watchdog was to have a one-week closed-door meeting starting Monday amid a clash between the West and Iran over Tehran's insistence on continuing nuclear fuel work.

Ahmadinejad told the assembly on Saturday that Iran had an "inalienable right to have access to a nuclear fuel cycle," while insisting that its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes and making a series of suggestions on the settlement of the crisis over its nuclear program.

He also reiterated that his country would not develop nuclear weapons and would adhere to the principle of peaceful utilization of nuclear power.

However, the EU-3 promptly expressed disappointment at the Iraninan speech.

French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said in New York that he was unconvinced by Iran's proposals and that "the option of referral ... to the UN Security Council remains on the agenda."

An EU official said that the Iranian president's speech left the EU with no choice but to refer the issue to the UN Security Council.

IAEA chief Mohamed el Baradei, fearing a split of the IAEA board over the issue, has urged the EU-3 and United States to give Iran another chance to comply with demands that it refrain from all sensitive nuclear activities.

The Vienna-based IAEA last month called on Iran to halt uranium conversion after it resumed the work on Aug.8, and urged Iran to continue talks with the EU.

The proposal has been rejected by Teheran and the nuclear talks between Teheran and the EU have remained in deadlock since that.

Source: Xinhua

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