S. Africa throws UN nuclear meeting on Iran into disarray

By REUTERS
September 13, 2012 14:14

 
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VIENNA - South Africa proposed a last-minute change to a UN nuclear agency resolution rebuking Iran on Thursday, throwing the meeting into confusion, diplomats said.

Six world powers put forward the draft text on Wednesday, aiming to add diplomatic pressure on Tehran, a day after Israel ramped up threats to attack the Islamic Republic which it believes is seeking nuclear weapons capability.

Intended to signal big power unity and criticize Iran for defying UN calls to curb its nuclear work, the full 35-nation governing board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had been expected to vote on and approve the text on Thursday.

But South Africa, like Iran a member of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) of mainly developing nations, proposed a change to the board resolution agreed by the United States, Russia, France, China, Britain and Germany.

As a result the board meeting that started at 10 a.m.  was adjourned until 3 p.m. for talks on how to proceed. "There is procedural chaos," one Western envoy said.

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