The United States has joined European allies in calling for a special meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors to report the Iranian nuclear issue to the U.N. Security Council. The foreign ministers of Germany, France and Britain - collectively known as the E-U-3 - and European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana issued a statement saying that E-U-3 negotiations with Iran have reached a dead end. “We believe the time has now come for the Security Council to become involved,” they said in the statement.
The call to report Iran’s nuclear program to the U-N Security Council follows the Iranian government’s decision to resume uranium enrichment-related activities after a two-year moratorium, in breach of its November 2004 agreement with the E-U-3 and in defiance of numerous resolutions from the IAEA Board of Governors. On January 10, the Iranian government began removing seals placed by the International Atomic Energy Agency, or I-A-E-A, on equipment used to enrich uranium. Enriched uranium can be used as fuel in nuclear power plants or in nuclear bombs.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the United States, like the E-U-3, believes Iran’s decision to remove the I-A-E-A seals “demonstrates that it has chosen confrontation with the international community over cooperation and negotiation":
“We agree that the Iranian regime's defiant resumption of uranium enrichment work leaves the E-U with no choice but to request an emergency meeting of the I-A-E-A board of governors. That meeting would be to report Iran's noncompliance with its safeguards obligations to the U.N. Security Council.”
Ms. Rice says that the major world powers, including Russia and China, are concerned by Iran’s decision to restart its nuclear research given its record of hiding nuclear activities and defying international monitoring efforts:
“I think it’s very clear that everybody believes that a very important threshold has been crossed here.”
The U.N. Security Council has the authority to reinforce the calls on Iran that the I-A-E-A Board has already made, and if necessary could impose sanctions against Iran if it continues to defy international monitoring efforts. Such measures would be aimed against Iran's rulers, not its people. "This is really the Iranian regime that is digging into isolation," said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The Iranian people, she said, deserve better.
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.