Iran issue unsolved at ElBaradei’s last IAEA board meeting

Vienna, Nov 26 (DPA) The dispute over Iran’s nuclear programme showed no sign of abating as diplomats gathered at the International Atomic Energy Agency Thursday for a meeting that would be the last under IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei.

The IAEA’s board of governors was set to vote on a resolution drafted by six world powers that would express “serious concern” about a new nuclear site that Tehran revealed belatedly in September and note that Iran had broken international rules by building it.

The draft by the five permanent UN Security Council members Britain, China, France, Russia and the US, as well as Germany also calls for the resolution to be transmitted to the Security Council in New York.

ElBaradei, who is set to retire Monday as director general after 12 years in office, has repeatedly expressed his view that further negotiations with Iran rather than sanctions would lead to a solution in the nuclear stand-off.

But Germany and some of the other involved countries have made clear they would not wait forever for Tehran to start cooperating with the IAEA on answering outstanding questions, and agree to a multinational nuclear fuel deal designed to defuse tension by

reducing Iran’s uranium stock.

A Western diplomat said shortly before the start of the meeting that some 20 of the 35 countries on the IAEA board supported the resolution.

The text said that by building the new Fordu enrichment site near Qom, Iran was “in breach of its obligation to suspend all enrichment related activities” as decided by the Security Council, according to a draft obtained by DPA.

The Egyptian IAEA chief will be succeeded by Yukiya Amano, a former senior diplomat from Japan.