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U.S. Envoy Stresses Unity Ahead Of Iran Nuclear Vote

Schulte (right) with IAEA chief weapons inspector Olli Heinonen in March (epa) PRAGUE, July 31, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- The U.S. envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says the world community -- including Russia and China -- is backing a draft UN Security Council resolution demanding that Iran suspend its uranium-enrichment activities by the end of August or face sanctions.

Gregory Schulte made the comments today in an exclusive interview with Radio Farda.

"I think the Security Council is remarkably unified on this, and I think we've found a remarkably unified approach by the international community on this," Schulte said. "This Security Council resolution is going to do what six foreign ministers -- including the Russian and Chinese foreign ministers -- said, and that is to make mandatory the suspension of enrichment and reprocessing capabilities and to make clear that if Iran refuses to comply with this, they'll work for the adoption of measures under the UN charter that would impose, for example, economic sanctions."

The Security Council could vote on the draft resolution as soon as today.

Schulte says the resolution reaffirms Tehran's right to peaceful nuclear energy but makes mandatory requirements from the international community that Iran abandon all controversial atomic activities.

The U.S. envoy also says the resolution makes clear that a negotiated path to resolving the nuclear standoff with Iran "remains open."

Iran has still to respond to an offer made in June by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany, that it suspend its nuclear work in return for various economic incentives.

Iran's Nuclear Program

Iran's Nuclear Program

THE COMPLETE PICTURE: RFE/RL's complete coverage of controversy surrounding Iran's nuclear program.


An annotated timeline of Iran's nuclear program.