21 countries to support U.S.-proposed resolution on Iran's nuclear programs?

21 countries might support the US-sponsored draft resolution concerning Iranian nuclear programs at the session of the Council of Managers of the International Atomic Energy Agency, a high-ranking official from the Vienna-based IAEA Secretariat told RIA Novosti on Thursday.

"Everyone understands that although the harsh resolution was formally suggested by France, Britain, Germany and other countries, the USA is actually behind it," the source stressed.

The draft binds Iran to fulfil every demand put forward by the IAEA, including that which mentions the signing of a protocol supplementing the Treaty of the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and sets the deadline for October 31, 2003.

US representatives to the IAEA say Tehran "violates the non-proliferation regime" and "works secretly on programs to create its own nuclear weapons." A milder version of the same draft suggested by non-aligned countries contains no deadlines as to Iran's fulfilment of IAEA's demands.

No consensus was reached on any of the drafts so far, and unless the parties concerned can work it out, the Western draft will be turned down as well as the draft proposed by non-aligned countries. In this case, the issue will be discussed at the General Conference of the IAEA, which is taking place in Vienna on September 15-19 in the presence of a Russian delegation headed by Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev.

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