Security Council Resolution on Iran sought
Britain, France and Germany are seeking the case of Iran to be referred to the Security Council in the coming weeks. They feel that Iran has restarted production of nuclear related activities although they have appealed for Iran not to and argue that Iran has resumed research that could be used for generating electricity and for making nuclear bombs. The U.S. has fully backed the decision. Iran, for their part have always said that they never had a covert nuclear weapons programme and dismiss the West’s claim as ridiculous and arrogant. They argue that nuclear weapons are against Iranian interest and Islamist teachings. They want to continue talks with the Europeans, which collapsed last week after Iran took off UN seals on uranium enrichment equipment. The incident has shown up differences between France, Germany, the U.S. and Britain on one hand and Russia and China on the other.
Britain, France and Germany decided, after seven hours of talks, to draft and then cirulate a resolution to seek Iran’s referral to the Security Council at a meeting of the U.N.’s watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency on February 2nd and 3rd.They will ask this agency to refer the case to the Security Council as they feel that the diplomatic option has been used and has failed. They will look for as much support as they can but are confident of getting a majority of the 35 member watchdog agency to agree to refer the case of Iran to the Security Council and this may be an easier task than persuading Russia and China to back the West. Although Javier Solana said that he was confident that Russia and China would back Europe they have not as yet and both countries were worried about the sanctions that could be imposed on Iran by the Security Council as both countries have solid and profitable trade and economic ties with Iran.
Russia have long trading ties with Iran and they replaced the US and France as the leading suppliers to Iran of nuclear technology after the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Their relationship continued after the Soviet Union fell and was given an added impetus when Putin came to power, who made extra efforts to boost Russia profitable sectors which include nuclear technology and this made trade relations with Iran more profitable and Russia has been constructing nuclear power plants in Iran and are interested in having trade in other areas such as oil and gas production and railways. Russia is leaning more towards the West’s position but urge against quick action and the imposing of sanctions. They feel that the Security Council need not be involved and they may propose a compromise where Iran would conduct uranium enrichment in Russia and not in Iran. Britain argue that Iran will use this compromise as a way of stalling time on threats and sanctions from the Security Council.
China is more hardline in opposing action against Iran as they have a high dependency on Iranian oil and energy, which could be affected by the sanctions.
They are unlikely to agree to sanctions that interfere with its trade with Iran but they also want to keep up good relations with the U.S. Although they have expressed concern at Iran’s nuclear development, they as well as Russia, do not want to involve the Security Council and want to continue talks with Iran. The West worry that China could use its veto on Iran’s behalf and China may find itself under increasing pressure in the coming weeks from the West to change its position. They may wait to see what Russia will do and so the West are focusing on Russia in the hope that Russia can persuade China to follow the Western nations’s lines of thinking on the issue.
The Western European nations will begin lobbying to try to maximise a vote on this issue in Vienna next month.