Iran: referral of civil nuclear energy program to UN an act of hostility
Iran-USA, Politics, 1/18/2006
The US said yesterday it is continuing efforts to rally international support against Iran. Sean McCormack, Spokesman of The US Department Of State was asked "Do you have any comments on Acting Premier Ehud Olmert's comments today saying that Israel can't live with an Iranian nuclear bomb?"
McCormack: I think that we all -- I haven't seen those comments But the concerns about Iran's nuclear weapon are not limited to Israel, the United States or any single country. We have seen that. Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon is -- would be a destabilizing event for the Middle East region, as well as the rest of the world. That is why we and others are working so hard on a diplomatic solution to see that Iran does not -- is not able to master the critical technologies that would allow it to obtain a nuclear weapon, the material for a nuclear weapon and a nuclear weapon.
Asked: Do you expect this to come up tomorrow at the Secretary's meeting with Shimon Peres -- the Iranian issue?
McCormack: I expect that if it -- that she'll be ready to talk about it if it does.
Asked: What is your reading of the meeting yesterday of the EU-3 and Russia, China, and you -- and the US? Are you satisfied with your outcome?
McCormack: Well, I think we're satisfied in the respect that all the parties agree that Iran's behavior has crossed the line and that they need to suspend their enrichment activities, that they cannot be allowed to obtain and master that technology and that technique. As for -- and the EU-3 has called for an IAEA emergency Board of Governors meeting on February 2nd or 3rd. We support that and we'll see what happens at the Board of Governors meeting.
Now, with respect to the referral to the Security Council and what that referral says and once you get to the Security Council what happens there, those are going to be matters for further discussion. I think you should view this meeting here as an informal meeting, yet the beginning of this new diplomatic phase, a more intensive diplomatic phase in addressing the issue of Iran's referral to the Security Council.
Asked: But Germany said that the discussions were difficult. Apparently, UK said that there was no consensus. So they are not that --
McCormack: Well, I'm not sure they said no consensus. I think that what they pointed to was there are still some discussions, follow-up discussions, that need to be had concerning the step going from the IAEA to the Security Council. Again, we believe that we have the votes for referral to the Security Council and we believe that that is the action the IAEA is going to take when they meet in February.
Asked: The Russians --
McCormack: Again, whether or not the Russians vote with the rest of the world is up to them. That I will refer you to Russian officials and Chinese officials or any other particular country about how they may vote at the IAEA Board of Governors meeting. But this is -- we do know that Russian officials are quite concerned about Iranian behavior. They have put out a proposal to the Iranians about how to address the issue of having a civilian -- a peaceful civilian nuclear capability that the Iranians say they want, while also meeting the just demands of the international community for objective guarantees so that the international community can be comfortable that Iran will not develop those critical pathway technologies that would allow it to obtain a nuclear weapon.
So I would only say that over the coming days and weeks, you're going to see a lot of discussion. There's going to be a lot of intensive diplomacy that occurs between now and that meeting. Under Secretary Burns is going to be continuing on to India as well as Sri Lanka, two members of the IAEA Board of Governors. Under Secretary Bob Joseph is in Vienna today for consultations with representatives from fellow board member countries. He is going to be also going on to Moscow and Tokyo as well. He may have some additional stops. We'll try to keep you updated on those.
So that's part -- those are also part of the efforts. The Secretary, I would expect, is going to be working the phones on this issue. So stay tuned. There is going to be a lot of activity between now and the beginning of February on this issue.
Asked: Can I follow up? Mohamed ElBaradei held a secret meeting -- well, held a meeting with the Iranian negotiator over the weekend and it was obvious they're trying to lobby to head off action in the United Nations Security Council. The question is: Does the United States feel it would be inappropriate at this time for anybody to have talks with the Iranians until it goes to the Security Council or is that a process that could --
McCormack: Well, of course, you want to try to continue to encourage the Iranians to engage in a diplomatic solution to this issue. That's the goal of this exercise. That's what we are trying to achieve. The problem is that the Iranians want to have it both ways. They want to, on one hand, say, well, we're going to continue our enrichment activities so we can get better at it and eventually build a nuclear weapon; while on the other hand, yes, we will continue -- we would like to have some discussions with you about how not to do that. Well, that doesn't seem to me to be a very good deal. Those things, as a matter of fact, are mutually exclusive.
You have to, in order to convey some sense of good faith in this, which they have not to date with their obfuscation, their hiding of the program, their refusal to answer the IAEA's questions, their refusal to engage the EU-3 in good faith in their negotiations -- and we just -- we haven't seen. So again, we all agree, and we all agree coming out of this London meeting, that Iran has to end its enrichment activities. They have to suspend their enrichment activities and that's -- thus far, we have not seen the Iranians willing to do that. As a matter of fact, they went the other way just last week. They broke the seals after saying that they would.
So at this point, I don't think that we see anything that indicates the Iranians are willing to engage in a serious diplomatic process that would lead to the solution that I talked about: the international community having objective guarantees that it would not -- that it could not obtain a nuclear weapon. That's why we're headed to the Security Council right now because of Iran's refusal to do that. The onus is on the Iranians. It's not on the EU-3 or the United States or anybody else to come up with some other neat proposal for them to consider. This is -- it is on the Iranians now to take actions as the Secretary -- you heard from the Secretary last week.
Asked: Just a follow-up to be clear on that. So the Iranians are seeking negotiations at this point. Is it your position that there should not be --
McCormack: I'm not sure that they're seeking negotiations.
Asked: Well, they're asking the Brits and the Brits said it would be --
McCormack: But this is -- look, this is -- you know, what they're engaged in is firing up a lot of chaff. They've started up their diplomatic fog machine here.
The US have changed its stated public goals to not prevent Iran from possessing nuclear weapons, but also to prevent Iran from possessing nuclear civil technology, saying that merely having such civil technical development will be used by Iran for nuclear weapons, the US asserts. The US before launching its war against Iraq asserted that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and further, the US asserted that it knew what the Iraqi government was thinking and planning; claims that turned out to be completely false. Iran has opened its facilities to UN inspectors, and asked countries who claim to be concerned to join the Iranian civil nuclear energy program to be complete participants in it, and offered complete transparency to the program to alleviate those who claim to have concerns. However, Iran's Ambassador to Russia Gholam-Reza Ansari warned today that if the country's nuclear case is sent to the UN Security Council, the Iranian nation and government would assess it as a hostile measure. "In that case, the Iranian government will enforce a ratification of Majlis (parliament) which orders suspension of cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)," Ansari said, IRNA reported. He added, "Any referral of Iran's case to the Security Council will result in adverse consequences for the region."
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today recommended the European and American administrators to "discard their arrogant position and instead adopt a rational stance on global developments."
Israel and others join efforts to encircle Iran
US wants Iran punished for asserting its rights
US condemns Iran's foreign, domestic policies
Ahmadinejad: Iran is not an expansionist country
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