EU plans to forward Iran problem to Security Council stalled

France, Germany and Great Britain are reported to have decided to hold off presenting a resolution to the International Atomic Energy Agency calling for Iran to be referred to the UN Security Council.

In the last few months the three countries have been negotiating on behalf of the European Union for a solution to the crisis involving Iran's nuclear programme, but Russia and China have opposed EU and US efforts to take the Islamic Republic to the Security Council, which can impose sanctions, over the resumption of its nuclear activities.

The new draft resolution proposal that the EU will present to the IAEA board in the next few days does not explicitly mention the economic sanctions that the Security Council could apply. Instead it seeks the deferral of the dossier to the UN body if Iran should continue its uranium conversion programme, say diplomatic sources in Vienna, where the IAEA is based.

Therefore, no vote will take place over the referral of Iran to the Security Council until the next meeting of the IAEA's board of governors in November.

In August Iran resumed the sensitive nuclear work at its Isfahan plant which it had stopped while negotiations were held with France, Britain and Germany. The three had offered economic and security incentives in return for Iran suspending its nuclear activities, but Iran insists it has the right to pursue a civilian nuclear programme for peaceful purposes.

Washington, however, suspects it is a cover for Iran's nuclear weapons programme, the AKI reports.

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