Friday, February 03, 2006

Middle East:

IAEA Delays Vote To Send Iran To Security Council
03 February 2006

REUTERS (VIENNA) - The U.N. nuclear watchdog deferred until Saturday a vote to report Iran to the U.N. Security Council over fears it is seeking atomic bombs, as the European Union 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 EU diplomats needed more time to persuade as many developing states as possible to vote yes rather than abstain.
Iran warned it would curb IAEA checks on its atomic sites if sent to the council, a threat that seemed to influence efforts by developing states to soften the EU-sponsored resolution.
EU diplomats said the threat would not deter their efforts to induce the Islamic Republic to change course.
The IAEA board held a crisis session on Thursday and had planned to reconvene on Friday, before the delay was announced. The board is now due to meet at 0900 GMT on Saturday.

Source Reliability: 8.5

*Pictured above: IAEA Director General Mohamed El Baradei briefs the media during a board of governors meeting in Vienna's U.N. headquarters, February 2, 2006. REUTERS/Herwig Prammer


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