Europe calls on Iran to reverse nuclear policy

Europe expressed renewed concern about Iran’s nuclear agenda today as the International Atomic Energy Agency’s 35-nation board focused on Tehran’s refusal to freeze uranium enrichment and fully cooperate with an IAEA investigation.

The Vienna meeting began with Iran and key nations which oppose its enrichment plans sticking to their positions, reflecting deadlock that has led the IAEA board to call on the UN Security Council to get involved.

Austria, which holds the EU presidency, expressed regret at Iran’s decisions to withhold “voluntary cooperation” from IAEA inspectors probing 21 years of Iranian nuclear activity – including 18 years of clandestine work and resuming uranium enrichment, which can be part of a process to make nuclear weapons.
The Austrian comments were made in a statement prepared for delivery on behalf of the European Union and nearly a dozen non-member European nations.

The statement also expressed concern that the IAEA investigations had not been able to banish suspicions that Iran’s nuclear programme goes beyond peaceful aims. And it called on Iran “to reverse its policy”.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was defiant: “Our nation has made its decision to fully use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and all have to give in to this decision made by the Iranian nation,” he said. “We have made our choice.”

His comments – and US and Russian statements rejecting any compromise that would allow Tehran to enrich uranium domestically – set the stage for Security Council action once the IAEA board meeting hears a report on the latest investigations into Iran’s nuclear programme and debates the issue, reports Ireland Online.


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