UN chief stresses diplomacy to solve Iran N-standoff

November 11th, 2011 - 6:06 am ICT by IANS  

United Nations, Nov 11 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon Thursday expressed deep concern over the possible military-dimension to Iran’s nuclear programme, and called for a diplomatic solution to resolve the issue.

The secretary-general has expressed serious concern after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Tuesday accused Iran of conducting activities aimed at developing nuclear weapons, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said.

“The secretary-general reiterates his belief that a negotiated rather than a military solution is the only way to resolve this issue,” Nesirky said at a news briefing, Xinhua reported.

Ban emphasized again that “the onus is on Iran” to prove the peaceful nature of its nuclear programme, and reiterated his call for Iran’s compliance with all the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and the IAEA board of governors.

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano has circulated an updated report on Iran for consideration at the meeting of the IAEA board of governors, and copies of this report have also been submitted to the UN Security Council, Nesirky said.

The UN Security Council has imposed four rounds of international sanctions on Iran, despite Tehran’s repeated insistence on the “peaceful” nature of its nuclear programme.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi said Saturday that the relevant IAEA documents are “unfounded and baseless”.

On Wednesday, the Russian foreign ministry said that the report is a “politicized compilation of well-known facts”.

“The authors (of the report) juggle the facts to create the impression that Iran’s nuclear programme has a military component,” it said in a statement, adding that the approach can “hardly be called progressional and unbiased,” and the report might lead to “a dangerous confrontation”.

Tehran insists on the “peaceful” aspect of its nuclear programme, but the US and its Western allies worry that Iran would use the uranium enrichment to make nuclear weapons.

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