World Powers End Meeting on Iran with No Convergence

TEHRAN (FNA)- The UN Security Council remains gridlocked over Iran’s nuclear work, as member states have failed to reach a convergent stance on the issue.

The Security Council, on Wednesday, heard a report by Belgium’s ambassador to the UN, who chairs the committee overseeing the implementation of three rounds of UN sanctions against Iran.

After the Chairman of the committee briefed the current sanctions on Iran, council members reiterated their stance on the issue with little change on either side, press tv reported.

“Iran is continuing not to suspend its sensitive activities. Indeed, it is continuing to step them up unabated and Iran is continuing to fail to implement the transparency measures demanded of it,” French First Counselor to the UN Nicolas De Riviere stated.

The US delegation also confirms its stance and remains firm in its hawkish approach to the Iranian nuclear issue.

“We urge the committee to continue its efforts and to consider new more effective ways to carry out its mandate,” US deputy ambassador to the UN Alejandro Wolff said.

The US and its staunch ally, Israel, accuse Iran of developing nuclear weapons.

So far, the UN Security Council has slapped three rounds of sanctions against Tehran; Washington is pushing for more sanctions while Russian and Chinese delegations said on Wednesday that the issue was too complicated and that negotiation was the only way.

Russian ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin said that talks “on the basis of proposals” formulated by the five permanent members of the council plus Germany are the best choice.

“China is always of the view that the peaceful solution of Iran’s nuclear issue through diplomatic negotiations is the best option,” Kang Yong, the Chinese Counselor to the UN said.

Iran insists its nuclear activities are only amid at peaceful application of the nuclear technology.

Political observers believe that the United States has remained at loggerheads with Iran mainly over the independent and home-grown nature of Tehran’s nuclear technology, which gives the Islamic Republic the potential to turn into a world power and a role model for other third-world countries. Washington has laid much pressure on Iran to make it give up the most sensitive and advanced part of the technology, which is uranium enrichment, a process used for producing nuclear fuel for power plants.

Washington’s push for additional UN penalties contradicts a recent report by 16 US intelligence bodies that endorsed the civilian nature of Iran’s programs. Following the US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) and similar reports by the IAEA head – one in November and the other one in February – which praised Iran’s truthfulness about key aspects of its past nuclear activities and announced settlement of outstanding issues with Tehran, any effort to impose further sanctions on Iran seems to be completely irrational.

The February report by the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, praised Iran’s cooperation in clearing up all of the past questions over its nuclear program, vindicating Iran’s nuclear program and leaving no justification for any new UN sanctions.

The UN nuclear watchdog has so far carried out at least 14 surprise inspections of Iran’s nuclear sites so far, but found nothing to support West’s allegations.

Also in another report to the 35-nation Board of Governors, IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei confirmed “the non-diversion” of nuclear material in Iran and added that the agency had found no “components of a nuclear weapon” or “related nuclear physics studies” in the country.

The IAEA report confirmed that Iran has managed to enrich uranium-235 to a level “less than 5 percent”. Such a rate is consistent with the construction of a nuclear power plant. Nuclear arms production, meanwhile, requires an enrichment level of above 90 percent.

The Vienna-based UN nuclear watchdog continues snap inspections of Iranian nuclear sites and has reported that all “declared nuclear material in Iran has been accounted for, and therefore such material is not diverted to prohibited activities.”

Mohammed ElBaradei, chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, recently said that Iran remains far from acquiring capabilities to develop nuclear weapons as it is still lacking the key components to produce an atomic weapon.

“They do not have even the nuclear material, the raw unenriched uranium to develop one nuclear weapon if they decide to do so,” said the head of the UN nuclear watchdog agency.

Many world nations have called the UN Security Council pressure against Iran unjustified, especially in the wake of recent IAEA reports, stressing that Tehran’s case should be normalized and returned to the UN nuclear watchdog due to the Islamic Republic’s increased cooperation with the agency.

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