No case for referring it to UN Council: Iran

Tehran, Nov 20 | Updated: Nov 21 2005, 05:30am hrs
Iran said on Sunday there was not enough evidence that its nuclear programme was designed to produce anything other than energy for it to be sent to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.

Foreign ministry Spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said on Sunday any referral to New York, at a meeting of the UN nuclear watchdog in Vienna on Thursday, would be a political manoeuvre against the Islamic Republic.

There is no legal or logical reason for Irans case to be referred. But if something does happen in the next few days based on political motives that is a different matter, he told reporters. Iran is facing referral after failing to convince the world that its scientists are working on power stations rather than nuclear weapons. The suspicions are based on Irans failure to disclose key nuclear infrastructure and revelations that it has been working on some nuclear systems primarily associated with military programmes.

European Union diplomats have been seeking to head off a showdown in New York by encouraging Iran to allow Russia to produce nuclear fuel on its behalf when it reaches the most critical stage uranium enrichment as part of a joint venture. They argue this could guarantee the fuel was not being enriched to weapons-grade. Asefi said Iran would consider a suggestion that another country conduct the fuel work. If we receive a proposal on this, we can study it. But we prefer to do it in Iran and not in any other country, he said. Doubts about Irans motives have been stoked further by Tehrans delivery of a black-market document to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which one diplomat called a cookbook for an atom bomb.

-Reuters