BERLIN — Iran will reduce co-operation with the IAEA to a minimum if the UN atomic watchdog passes a resolution condemning its nuclear programme, a top Iranian official said Thursday.
As IAEA delegates began a two-day meeting in Vienna, Tehran’s ambassador to the body, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, told German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung its co-operation “would be reduced to the minimum we are legally obliged.”
A vote on a resolution against his country, which would be the first in nearly four years, would “damage the currently constructive atmosphere” and “have long-term consequences,” Soltanieh was quoted as saying.
IAEA diplomats say the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — plus Germany have drawn up a draft resolution to put to Vienna gathering.
The resolution was prompted by the shock revelation in September that Tehran has been concealing a second uranium enrichment site.
But it was not clear from pre-meeting talks whether the text will win the support of the majority on the IAEA’s 35-member board, although German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said it enjoyed “broad support.”
The fact that Russia and China are ready to support such a move is seen as a sign o