The UN nuclear agency’s confirmation that Iran has expanded its uranium enrichment program set the stage for difficult negotiations on new UN sanctions, with Britain, the United States and France again likely to seek tougher measures than Russia and China will accept.
Senior diplomats from the five permanent Security Council nations and Germany will meet on Monday in London to start work on a new resolution to try to pressure Iran to suspend enrichment, which can lead to the production of nuclear weapons.
US Under-secretary of State Nicholas Burns, who announced the London meeting in Washington, said Iran was “effectively thumbing its nose at the international community” and a new resolution was needed to “see Iran repudiated again.”
He said it was too soon to say what provisions the resolution might contain.
Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said he had “no substantive comment” on the agency’s report.
But he reiterated Moscow’s desire for a diplomatic negotiated solution. “We should not lose sight of the goal – and the goal is not to have a resolution or to impose sanctions,” Churkin said.