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EU backs down on Iran under pressure
VIENNA - The European Union's three main powers dropped a demand on Thursday
that the U.N. nuclear watchdog immediately report Iran to the Security Council
over its atomic plans, following opposition from Russia and China. Reuters
Earlier this week, the EU had circulated a U.S.-backed draft resolution calling on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) governing board to report Iran's secretive nuclear program to the Security Council.
But with at least a dozen of the 35 members of the IAEA board opposed to the EU resolution -- including China and Russia -- the EU cut out the key demand from a revised draft.
The new draft, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters, omitted any explicit threat that Iran would be referred to the Security Council but implied that the IAEA board could choose to refer the matter to the Council in the future.
"The history of concealment of Iran's nuclear activities ... and the
resulting absence of confidence that Iran's nuclear program is exclusively for
peaceful purposes have given rise to questions that are within the competence of
the Security Council...," the draft said.