Final week of negotiations begins before UN nuclear watchdog meets to discuss future of Iran
The last week of negotiations begin on Monday regarding Iran's renewed nuclear program before a September 19 board meeting of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to discuss possible repercussions for Iran's non-compliance with UN regulations.
In an appeal to China, Russia and India last week, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice asked that the IAEA bring Iran before the UN Security Council to consider sanctions against it for what believes is Iran's attempt to attain nuclear capability.
Rice told reporters that "Iran needs to get a message from the international community that is a unified message, and by this I mean not just the EU-3 and the United States, but also Russia and China and India and others," according to the AFP.
Iran last month resumed its nuclear program in what it claimed was a non-military effort to meet the energy needs of its civilian public after having been banned from such activity by a 2004 agreement with France, Britain and Germany. The IAEA reportedly may set a deadline for an end to Iran's fuel work.
Russia, Brazil and 13 other non-aligned nations reportedly expressed refusal to back the efforts of the US to send Iran before Council scrutiny. A senior diplomat from a non-aligned nation told reporters that much could change before the expected meeting next week.
Non-aligned nations have in the past backed down on opposing consensus on the IAEA board, due to concerns that decisions regarding nuclear restrictions would affect their rights to pursue peaceful nuclear energy programs.
Manouchehr Mottaki , Iran's Foreign Minister, warned on Sunday that referring the issue to the Security Council would have "consequences" but he did not elaborate.
Diplomacy is now focused on a UN summit in New York from Wednesday to Friday which Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend.