A US push to halve UN nuclear agency aid to Iran as part of Security Council sanctions is facing resistance from traditional US allies in the European Union as well as from developing nations, diplomats said Tuesday.
Resistance from developing nations on the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency was expected. Most of them usually support Teheran when it asserts it has the right to develop its uranium enrichment technology, and they fear a precedent that could hurt their access to IAEA technical cooperation if Iran's programs are pared back.
But from Washington's point of view, any European opposition would be worrisome. It could erode attempts to present a unified Western front on how to deal with Iran's nuclear defiance and open chinks that could be exploited by Teheran in its attempts to weaken international opposition to its attempts to enrich uranium - a process that can create fuel for energy but also the fissile material for nuclear warheads.
"The Americans said at least 50 percent of the technical cooperation programs now in place with Iran will not go through" an IAEA review of the more than 15 projects now in place, said a diplomat accredited to the IAEA, one of seven who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity for discussing confidential information.