Reuters – A draft resolution to be submitted to the U.N. nuclear watchdog asks the agency to report Iran’s nuclear programme to the U.N. Security Council, according to the text, dictated to Reuters by an EU diplomat on Wednesday.
The resolution, drafted by France, Britain and Germany, asks Iran "to help the agency clarify questions regarding possible nuclear weapons activities" and calls on International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Mohamed ElBaradei "to transmit a copy of this resolution to the security council".
Referral of the matter to the 15-nation council opens the door to possible U.N. sanctions, though diplomats and analysts say such punitive measures would be a long way off.
The so-called "EU3" decided last week to join Washington in calling for Iran to be hauled before the U.N.’s top body after Tehran said it would resume research on uranium enrichment, technology the West fears would enable Iran to produce atomic weapons.
Iran says its nuclear programme is aimed solely at the generation of electricity.
The text will undergo changes as the wording is discussed by key members of the IAEA’s 35-nation board of governors, which holds an emergency meeting on Iran early next month.
Russia and China, which are on the council and the IAEA board, have signalled doubts about the benefits of a U.N. referral.
The resolution, if approved, would put the matter into the hands of the council for the first time since the standoff with Iran began in August 2002.
However, it keeps the issue of inspecting Iran’s nuclear programme firmly in the hands of the Vienna-based IAEA.
The resolution "requests the director general (ElBaradei) to continue with his efforts to implement the agency’s safeguards agreement with Iran … with a view to providing credible assurances regarding the absence of undeclared nuclear materials and activities in Iran".