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IAEA decision brings Iran crisis closer to brink

IAEA decision brings Iran crisis closer to the brink, says Greenpeace.

Vienna - The International Atomic Energy Agency's decision to report Iran to the UN Security Council will seriously increase the risk of escalating tensions in the region, Greenpeace said today.

"Reporting Iran to the UN Security Council has created a vacuum of confidence building, a situation that IAEA head ElBaradei said he was intent on avoiding," said Greenpeace nuclear analyst William Peden, speaking from IAEA headquarters in Vienna. "Board members supporting the EU-3 draft resolution have effectively shot themselves in the foot. The Iran crisis has been brought closer to the brink."

"There will be no winners in this dispute. Iran has made it quite clear that they will now severely restrict inspections and no longer comply with requests to reveal information above and beyond what is legally required under existing treaty obligations. All diplomatic initiatives will also be dead in the water, escalating further tensions on all sides. It is clear that the heightened mistrust on both sides will make resolution of this crisis all the more difficult."

"The real solution to this crisis is a true and meaningful Nuclear Free Zone in the Middle East, not one which is paid lip service to," said Peden. "It is a vital first step towards removing all nuclear proliferation risks in the region, as well as providing the essential security guarantees from nuclear weapons states outside the region. If we don't seriously contemplate this option then the world will, as UN Secretary General Kofi Annan pointed out a few days ago, lurch from nuclear crisis to nuclear crisis," Peden concluded.

Greenpeace is opposed to any nation acquiring nuclear technology and nuclear weapons, It believes that the current crisis is borne out of the clear contradiction in the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that obliges signatories to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons whilst at the same time encouraging their access to nuclear technology that can be diverted to produce those weapons.

Greenpeace is an independent campaigning organisation that uses non-violent creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems to force solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

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