BREAKING: Iran to exit NPA
A blogger - vsredthoughtsecondedition at DailyKos website - about an hour ago broke the story from Iranian news sources that the Iranian government has prepared an "Exit form NPT letter" and, according to that letter, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran immediately will start its full sclae enrichment program if Iran is referred to the Security council by IAEA board. (NPT is the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty to which Iran is currently a signatory.)
The IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency, aka the UN's 'nuclear watchdog') is today (February 4) voting on sending the Iran case to the Security Council for a vote on a demand for Iran to either cease and desist its uranium enrichment program or face international sanctions.
Iranian Supreme National Security Council Deputy Secretary General Javad Vaeedi said on Friday "... Do not forget that if you come to Iran for negotiation after issuing such a resolution, we will allow no suspensions [of our nuclear development activities]. Rather, Iran will negotiate while it is conducting industrial-scale uranium enrichment ..."
The blogger's sources are straight from Iran, namely the Iranian Students News Agency --
and the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (part of the Iranian government) --
plus non-English language Iranian on-line news websites.
The English language pages at these sites have been unavailable because of heavy traffic this morning. Also, be prepared for your hook-ups to be slow and difficult - and monitored by NSA?
URL for the blog --
For the NYT story, you must be a registered member of NYTimes.com, but here it is, if you want it --
link to www.nytimes.com
Background from a New York Times report --
February 3, 2006
"Dispute Over Israel Delays Vote on Iran Nuclear Resolution"
By ELAINE SCIOLINO
VIENNA, Feb. 3 -- The 35-nation board of the International Atomic Energy Agency delayed a vote on a landmark resolution on Iran's nuclear program today largely because of American opposition to a clause indirectly criticizing Israel's nuclear weapons status, according to several diplomats.
The countries that sit on the decision-making council of the world's nuclear watchdog agency will meet again on Saturday.
Several diplomats said that it was unlikely that the problem would derail passage of the resolution, which would report Iran's case to the United Nations Security Council for the first time and which enjoys the support of the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany.
But many of them insisted that the United States would have to back down from its position and predicted that the resolution might not pass with as strong a majority as they had hoped.
The problem arose when Egypt insisted that the draft resolution include a specific mention of support for the creation of a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East.
Egypt and other Arab states routinely demand references to a "nuclear free zone" in the Middle East in Security Council documents, arguing that Israel -- which has never admitted that it has nuclear weapons and unlike Iran has never signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty -- should be part of a general security framework in the Middle East that bans such weapons.
In the current debate, Egypt has argued that if a resolution is passed that makes the Security Council a player in considering Iran's nuclear program, it must include language about a nuclear-free Middle East.
But the problem has exposed a split between the Americans who oppose the Egyptian demand and Russia, China and the Europeans who support it.
JUST GOT THIS via FireFox news alert --
BBC report as of 4 February 2006, 10:29 GMT
"Key Iran nuclear vote is expected"
The board of the UN nuclear agency has resumed discussions and is due to vote whether to report Iran to the security council over its nuclear activities.
Key delegates have agreed on the wording of a new draft resolution and submitted it to the meeting.
A Friday vote was planned but delayed in an attempt to persuade as many nations as possible to come on board, and send a stronger message to Iran.
Tehran says it will end co-operation if it is reported to the security council.
It denies it has been concealing efforts to develop nuclear weapons.
Correspondents say Friday's delay arose from an attempt by developing countries to soften the resolution, which was rejected by Germany, France and the UK, the countries proposing it.
Also, diplomats say Egypt made a proposal to include a reference to making the Middle East a nuclear weapon free zone.
This was rejected by the US, which saw it as an attack on Israel's nuclear arsenal.
<[We] call on Iran to understand that the board lacks confidence in its intentions in seeking to develop a fissile material production capacity against the background of Iran's record on safeguards.>
Draft UN resolution
But diplomats told AP news agency that Washington eventually agreed to the clause after it received overwhelming backing from European allies.
Iran's former leader said reporting it to the UN would be a historic injustice.
Speaking at Friday prayers, ex-President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said there were better ways to resolve the issue and warned that reporting Tehran would be a "black page" in history.
Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, said Tehran would stop allowing UN inspections and resume peaceful nuclear activities "without restriction" if Iran was sent to the Security Council, which has the power to impose sanctions.
Iran recently decided to resume suspended research on uranium enrichment.
This has not yet led to full-scale uranium enrichment - a process that creates fuel for nuclear reactors and, potentially, for a nuclear bomb - but Western powers are concerned.
Iran maintains its programme is for producing energy and does not have a military aim.
'Window of opportunity'
The 35-member board of the UN watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), had been due to reconvene on Friday afternoon in Vienna for the second day of its emergency meeting on Iran.
But the scheduled meeting was first delayed and then postponed until Saturday morning, following a day of backroom diplomacy.
An EU diplomat earlier told Reuters news agency that supporters of sending Iran to the Security Council thought they had the votes to succeed.
16 Feb, Moscow: Russia and Iran resume talks on Russia's proposed compromise
March, Vienna: IAEA to report on Iranian compliance; possible Security Council action to follow
The resolution to be considered urges Iran to extend "indispensable and overdue" co-operation to the IAEA and help it "clarify possible activities which could have a military dimension".
Russian had argued that the IAEA motion must not contain any immediate threat of sanctions against Iran.
Moscow, a major trading partner of Tehran's, has offered to enrich uranium for Iran on its own soil.
The proposal is designed to give Iran the fuel it wants while easing fears that it could be diverted to bomb-making.
However, Iranian negotiator Javad Vaeidi warned on Friday that reporting Iran to the UN would "kill" any chance of the Russian compromise deal going ahead.
Russian and Iranian officials are expected to meet on 16 February to discuss the proposal.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/02/04 10:29:03 GMT
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