West defeats Iran initiative at major UN nuclear meeting

September 22, 2012 06:43

VIENNA - Western states defeated an Iranian proposal at the UN nuclear agency's annual assembly on Saturday to amend their draft resolution on a policy area central to its work in preventing the spread of atom bombs.

The draft text was adopted in a vote shortly after midnight after days of closed-door negotiations failed to achieve the traditional consensus, with divisions between a small number of countries led by Iran and a much larger Western-dominated group.

Diplomats said Iran and Egypt had wanted to include language in the resolution suggesting the UN agency should have a role also in nuclear disarmament, apparently reflecting frustration on their part at the lack of faster progress on this issue.

This was opposed by a large majority including the United States, Britain, France and Russia - four officially recognized nuclear weapon states - which believe the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is not the right forum for this, they said.

The West accuses Iran of trying to develop a nuclear weapons capability in secret. The Islamic Republic denies the charge.

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