Thursday, September 08, 2005

Germany Toughens Stand on Iran

Media Line:
Germany wants Iran to be referred to the United Nations Security Council regarding Tehran’s nuclear program, an official at Germany’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

The United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed last week that Tehran has resumed processing of uranium, an important component in the nuclear energy cycle.

The suspension of this work was at the base of an agreement between Iran and three European countries in November 2004.

Until now, Germany, France and the United Kingdom have been the ‘good cop’ on Iran’s nuclear program. The countries, also known as the EU-3, have been involved in intensive negotiations for the past two years to persuade Tehran to stop its nuclear program in exchange for political, economic and technological incentives.

Washington, on the other hand, has taken a harder line, and has urged to refer Iran to the Security Council where Tehran will possibly face sanctions.

Now, the EU is also seeking pressure from the Security Council.

German negotiator Ruediger Luedeking said Germany will not at first seek sanctions but he said the IAEA should ask the council to urge Iran to suspend the work and resume negotiations.

The IAEA board is meeting on September 19 to discuss the next step on Iran’s nuclear issues. READ MORE