Skip to comments.US-European rift on Iran
Posted on 09/14/2004 6:47:24 PM PDT by familyop
A US-European rift surfaced today over how harshly to deal with Iran and its suspect nuclear program, with the Europeans ignoring American suggestions and circulating their own recommendations to other delegates at a key meeting of the UN atomic agency.
Diplomats at a board of governors meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency had suggested earlier that the United States and the European Union were making progress in drafting common language for a resolution that would set a deadline for Iran to meet demands designed to dispel fears it was trying to make nuclear arms.
But the latest draft, obtained by The Associated Press and being circulated informally today for reaction from other delegates, nearly mirrored the one that France, Britain and Germany came up with on Friday - a text that American officials had said was not tough enough.
The American suggestions were also made available to the AP today. They demanded Iran grant agency inspectors "complete, immediate and unrestricted access"; provide "full information" about past illegal nuclear activities; suspend "immediately and fully" uranium enrichment and related activities; and meet all agency demands to "resolve all outstanding issues" nurturing suspicions of a possible weapons program.
The Americans asked that the draft include an October 31 deadline. The EU text remained more vague on both demands and a time frame, asking only that IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei submit a comprehensive report before November for evaluation by the board.
The meeting has become the main battleground between Iran and the US, which wants to take Iran before the UN Security Council for alleged violations of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
A US official who demanded anonymity denied the developments were a blow to Washington.
"Not everybody is happy but not everybody is going to be happy" with the US insistence on a harsh line on Iran, he said. "I think things are moving in our direction."
Mr ElBaradei shrugged off the idea of a deadline.
"We cannot just say there is a magic date" for an end to his agency's Iran probe, Mr ElBaradei said.
He said that his investigation has not established whether Iran is trying to make nuclear arms - as Washington asserts.
"We haven't seen any concrete proof that there is a weapons program," he told reporters on the second day of the board meeting. "Can we say everything is peaceful? Obviously we are not at that stage."
Revelations of the rift were expected to prove embarrassing to the Americans. They had expressed confidence that they would be able to bring the Europeans close to their stance and had flown in a team close to US Undersecretary of State John Bolton for the board meeting, effectively sidelining the Vienna-based US mission that normally is responsible for such conferences.
The Americans "introduced amendments that were beyond what the market would bear", said one senior western diplomat who follows the IAEA, commenting on what he suggested was European defiance. "The European draft is right now going to have support."
The Associated Press
I suspect the French surrender at any moment.
"Some men, you just can't reach."
Fine by me, Europe is well in range of missles that Iran either already has or can easily obtain. I wonder what they will say when Paris is under a mushroom cloud.
do you honestly beleive the iranians want to start nuking the west? that would be suicide. just like every other nuclear nation, they know that nukes are really only a defence. iran desperately wants to be immune from invasion.
West? No. Isreal. Yes. They have stated their intentions numerous times.
its all bluster. they cant nuke israel and survive. simple as that.
Perhaps not the west, unless you want to count Israel as part of the west. They've pretty much said if they get a nuke, Israel's gonna eat it.
"iran desperately wants to be immune from invasion."
If they stopped funding terrorists and trying to build nukes, there'd be no reason to invade them.
Same old, same old, but we should be able to split Russia out of the coalition of the against if we handle it right.