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US may refer Iran to UN Security Council, Rice says

[JURIST] US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [official website] issued a warning on Thursday that the US is considering referring Iran [JURIST news archive] to the UN Security Council [official website] if it continues its plans to resume nuclear fuel research. Iran announced on Tuesday that it would resume its research on January 9 but insists that its program will solely be used for domestic energy needs. This development prompted the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) [official website, JURIST news archive] to seek clarification [press release] from Iran on its decision. Concerns that Iran may seek nuclear weapons deepened on Thursday when a delegation from Tehran failed to show up for a meeting [Reuters report] in Vienna with the IAEA to explain their new research program. A spokesman for the IAEA said no explanation was given as to why the delegation did not come to the meeting and no new discussions have been scheduled. The IAEA has previously announced [PDF text] that Iran was in non-compliance [JURIST report] with terms of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty [text] but so far the IAEA has not been willing to refer Iran [JURIST report] to the Council. AFP has more.

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