Iran sees victory in N-battle

Published September 24, 2005

TEHRAN, Sept 23: Iran was sensing victory on Friday in a diplomatic battle over its nuclear programme, but regime officials nevertheless stepped up their bid to avoid even limited criticism from the UN atomic agency.

The European Union, fearful that Iran’s atomic fuel work could be diverted to make nuclear weapons, failed to win a consensus among International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) member states for its bid to refer Tehran to the UN Security Council.

Even a softened EU draft resolution, which still finds Iran in non-compliance with nuclear proliferation safeguards, has met with tough opposition from Russia— leaving Iran feeling justified in its defiant stance.

“The retreat of the Europeans over the Security Council is explained by Iran’s firm position, the fact that the European demand had no logical basis and the objections of countries like Russia, China and non-aligned states,” national security spokesman Ali Agha Mohammadi told AFP.

The stand-off deepened in August after Iran rejected demands from Britain, France, Germany that it abandon its enrichment programme in exchange for incentives and ended a freeze on enrichment-related work.

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