The U.S. government and its allies in the EU succeeded in cajoling Moscow and Beijing to go along. Only the governments of Cuba, Syria, and Venezuela voted no. Five governmentsthose of Algeria, Belarus, Indonesia, Libya, and South Africaabstained.
This decision does not contribute to opening new paths of negotiation, but rather to confrontation, Gustavo Marquez, Venezuelas delegate to the IAEA, said in a government news release. There is an effort by nuclear powers, such as the United States, to develop a monopoly on nuclear energy, thus creating an economic and political dependence.
The government of Iran responded by announcing it would resume commercial-scale uranium enrichment, a step necessary in the production of fuel for nuclear power, and halt surprise visits of its nuclear facilities by UN inspectors. Tehran insists nuclear power is necessary to meet its energy and development needs and denies it is trying to build an atomic bomb.
Many U.S. allies in Europe have closed ranks with Washington on the matter. We must prevent Iran from developing its nuclear program further, Angela Merkel, Germanys chancellor, said in a speech to the annual Munich Conference on Security Policy, held in the German city with the same name, as the IAEA was holding its meeting in Vienna.
Merkel said Irans government has blatantly crossed the red line, not just with its nuclear program but with its presidents statements against Israel. A president that questions Israels right to exist, a president that denies the Holocaust, cannot expect to receive any tolerance from Germany, she said.
The Iranian regime is today the worlds leading state sponsor of terrorism, declared U.S. secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld at the Munich conference, adding that Washington and its allies must work together to prevent a nuclear Iran.
The imperialist powers succeeded in getting most of the 16 members of the Non-Aligned Movement represented in the IAEAincluding Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, India, and Ghanato vote for referring Iran to the UN Security Council. To save face, a number of these regimes rationalized their vote by pointing to a clause that they argued be included in the IAEA resolution. It states: A solution to the Iranian issue would contribute to global non-proliferation efforts and to realizing the objective of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, including their means of delivery.
Washington succeeded in watering down this clause to avoid explicit reference to nuclear arms, since Tel Aviv, the strongest U.S. ally in the region, has such weapons without admitting it publicly.
The IAEA resolution says there is an absence of confidence that Irans nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes. It demands that Tehran re-establish full and sustained suspension of all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development, to be verified by the Agency. It also orders the Iranian government to give UN snoops additional powers to investigate Irans nuclear program, including access to individuals, documentation relating to procurement, dual use equipment, [and] certain military-owned workshops. And it instructs the IAEA director general to report to the UN Security Council in March on whether Iran adhered to these demands.
Javad Vaidi, deputy secretary of Irans National Security Council, said his government would resume uranium enrichment and stop cooperating with UN inspectors.
Appealing for support to other countries oppressed by imperialism, Irans president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said that a few nuclear states, the hegemonic powers, assume if they would manage to block Irans path, they would also succeed in blocking other nations path.
Tehran says it must develop atomic energy to meet the countrys growing needs. In an article in the January 19 New Zealand Herald, Irans ambassador to New Zealand, Kambiz Sheikh-Hassani, made the case succinctly. He pointed out that Irans nuclear program began under the U.S.-backed regime of the shah, which was toppled through a popular revolution in 1979. Since then, he noted, The Iranian population has more than doubled, from 32 million to nearly 70 million…. Irans installed electrical capacity is 30,000 megawatts and the country needs additional generation of 2000 megawatts each year, which under the best possible circumstances, including the immediate lifting of U.S. sanctions and a flow of vast investment capital into Iran, cannot be produced by oil and gas alone. The Iranian official said if current trends dont get reversed, Tehran will become a net importer of oil by the end of this decade. The country today relies on oil for 80 percent of its foreign currency and 45 percent of its annual budget.
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