Wednesday, July 12, 2006

World Powers Refer Iran to U.N. Over Nuclear Row

Yahoo News:
World powers said on Wednesday they would refer Iran back to the United Nations Security Council after Tehran failed to respond quickly enough to a package of incentives aimed at defusing a nuclear standoff. "We have no choice but to return to the United Nations Security Council," French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said following a meeting with his counterparts from the United States, Britain, Russia, China and Germany. READ MORE

Iran was referred to the Security Council earlier this year, but work on a U.N. resolution, which could have opened the way to sanctions, was delayed to allow the Iranian leadership to respond to the offer of incentives.

The world powers told the Iranians they wanted a clear response to their offer before this weekend's Group of Eight industrialised nations summit in Russia. Iran has said it needs more time, promising to deliver its answer by August 22.

But the six foreign ministers in Paris said they were not prepared to give Tehran the benefit of the doubt.

"The Iranians have given absolutely no indication of their readiness to seriously discuss the substance of our proposal," Douste-Blazy said, adding that the Security Council would seek to force Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment programme.

"Should Iran refuse to comply then we will work for the adoption of measures under article 41 of Chapter VII of the U.N. charter," the French foreign minister said.

Under article 41, the Security Council could call on United Nations members to apply economic sanctions on Iran but would not endorse military action.