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IAEA to pursue Russian compromise on Iran instead of Council referral

[JURIST] Members of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) [official website; JURIST news archive] meeting in Vienna agreed Thursday to pursue a Russian compromise proposal rather than report Tehran to the UN Security Council [JURIST report] for its nuclear activities. Iran has refused to suspend uranium enrichment, claiming it wants to develop its nuclear power capabilities, not weapons. Moscow has proposed allowing Iran to conduct uranium processing in Iran, then sending the material to Russia, where a Russian-Iranian joint venture would handle the critical enrichment process. The decision not to refer Iran to the Security Council [official website] was likely endorsed by the US and EU so as to avoid disagreements with Russia and China. The European Union has expressed concern that Iran received papers from black marketeers describing in part how to build the core of a nuclear bomb. Peter Jenkins, British envoy to the IAEA, said while the EU had opted to give Iran more time to weigh Moscow's proposal, the "widow of opportunity" will not remain open indefinitely. Reuters has more.

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