VIENNA, Nov 25: Non-aligned countries protested a call by Britain to hand over key Iranian nuclear documents to the world’s five main atomic powers for analysis, as the UN nuclear watchdog wrapped up a week-long meeting on Friday.
Diplomats said some non-aligned countries opposed handing over the document to the nuclear weapons states on the UN Security Council for analysis, which Iran submitted to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The paper is a blueprint for making the explosive core of a nuclear bomb.
The IAEA’s 35-nation board of governors on Thursday put off taking Iran to the Security Council to give time for new Russian diplomacy to resolve the crisis over Iran’s nuclear program, but the United States warned that referral would happen soon if Tehran did not meet its non-proliferation obligations.
British ambassador Peter Jenkins had said ‘it would be helpful if the (IAEA) director general could arrange for the document to be seen by experts from the five nuclear weapons states’ in the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), namely Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.
Non-aligned states, which back Iran’s right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy, as well as non-nuclear states in the NPT said the issue should remain within the framework of the IAEA.
States which spoke included Algeria, Brazil, Cuba, Egypt and South Africa, a non-aligned diplomat said.
British atomic governor Robert Wright told the board that Britain was not trying to pressure the IAEA on this matter and was merely making a suggestion ‘to help clarify the contents of the document’, a diplomat added.
Jenkins had said on Thursday, in comments echoed by other Western ambassadors, that the European Union ‘sees grounds for deep concern’ that Iran ‘has admitted to having in its possession a document which was supplied’ by an international black market and which is a guide to making the explosive core of an atom bomb.—AFP