White House Praises IAEA Rebuke Of Iran

Nov 27, 2009 2:06pm

ABC News’ Devin Dwyer reports:

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said today’s “overwhelming vote” by the International Atomic Energy Agency condemning Iran for its secret uranium enrichment plant reflects international resolve that Iran be more transparent in its nuclear pursuits.

The U.N. nuclear watchdog voted 25 to 3, with backing from Russia and China, to pass the resolution, which also urged Iran to immediately freeze nuclear enrichment activity at the Fordow enrichment facility.

“The fact that 25 countries from all parts of the world cast their votes in favor shows the urgent need for Iran to address the growing international deficit of confidence in its intentions,” Gibbs said in a statement.

The vote also seemed to indicate international frustration with Iran’s apparent about-face on a draft agreement with the IAEA in which Iran would have parted with its enriched uranium in exchange for fuel for a medical nuclear reactor.

“The United States has strongly supported the [IAEA] director general’s positive proposal to provide Iran fuel for its Tehran Research Reactor — a proposal intended to help meet the medical and humanitarian needs of the Iranian people while building confidence in Iran’s intentions,” said Gibbs, adding that it is up to Iran to choose such a course.

The United States and Iran met one-on-one in Geneva Oct. 1 to address the nuclear question, after which Iran granted inspectors access to its secret enrichment facility at Qom.  Iran has refused to participate in a subsequent meeting with the United States or other members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, unless its nuclear program is off the table.

“If Iran refuses to meet its obligations,” Gibbs said, “then it will be responsible for its own growing isolation and the consequences.”

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