Rice calls for UN to consider Chapter 7th resolution to force Iran to stop enriching uranium
Under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, the Security Council may take such action as necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security.
UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohammed ElBaradei said he did not see diversion of nuclear material for weapons purposes, although “the picture is still hazy.”
In the 20 years of the Iranian program, he said, “lots of activities went unreported.” ElBaradei nonetheless said there was “ample time” to solve the crisis by diplomacy. He must report back to the Security Council on whether Tehran has complied with the SC’s demand to stop all enrichment activity by April 28.
Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani said in a joint news conference with ElBaradei in Tehran Thursday that the UN Security Council demand to halt uranium enrichment was not an option. President Mahmoud Ahmadenejad repeated Iran would not back down from its declared right to enrich uranium “for its atomic reactors.” The world, he said, must treat Iran as a nuclear power.
Iran’s deputy nuclear chief Mohammed Saeed said his government plans to expand its enrichment program using 54,000 centrifuges instead of the 164 in the small scale process announced Tuesday.
Chinese assistant foreign minister Cui Tiankai has called for restraint so as not to escalate the situation, while the Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov criticized Iran for taking “a wrong direction.” The five UN Security Council permanent members plus Germany meet in Moscow next Tuesday to discuss the new crisis.