1st Dec 2023

Big five agree to refer Iran to UN

China and Russia have agreed to join the EU and US in efforts to refer Iran to the UN's security council due to its resumed nuclear activities.

Foreign ministers from five permanent members of the UN security council (US, UK, France, Russia and China) plus Germany reached a consensus late Monday (30 January) in London.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • The EU trio said there was nothing new in Iran's latest offer (Photo: EUobserver)

They suggested that the UN watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) "should report to the security council its decision on the steps required of Iran," stated a joint statement released after the meeting.

But ministers noted that the security council would not take any action until March after it has received a formal report on Iran from the IAEA, the BBC reported.

In a reaction to the move, Iran's deputy head of the Supreme National Security Council Javad Vaeedi said that his country would not bow to the international pressure.

"Research and development is the Iranian nation's legitimate right and is irreversible," Mr Vaeedi told state television on Tuesday, adding that Tehran remained open to "logical and constructive talks" with the EU over its nuclear case, according to Reuters.

But earlier on Monday, UK, France and Germany rejected a fresh bid by Iran to slow down nuclear research, with the EU trio arguing the offer was in fact not "new" at all.

While Iran claims it wants to use enrichment programmes for peaceful objectives, the international community fears they could be used to develop nuclear arms and cals for their complete closure.

Less than US expected

According to analysts, the message of Monday's meeting of the superpowers is less radical than was desired by the US and EU members of the council, as it stops short of the immediate formal referral of the country to the UN.

If Tehran is eventually referred to the UN, it could face sanctions.

US president George W Bush said he would mention the escalating issue in his State of the Union speech to be delivered on Tuesday (31 January).

He noted that his message to the Iranian government would be "if you want to be a part of the family of nations, give up your nuclear weapons ambitions."

"We're united in our goal to keep the Iranians from having a weapon, and we're working on the tactics necessary to continue putting a united front out," he added.


Who is Kris Roman, the Kremlin's man in Belgium?

In Flanders, Russia's access to the Belgian far-right is facilitated by Kris Roman. What is far less known are his more than decade-long connections with Russian intelligence.

Russia loses seat on board of chemical weapons watchdog

Russia lost its seat on the board of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons for the first time in the organisation's history — while Ukraine, Poland, and Lithuania were elected to the executive council.


'Loss and Damage' reparations still hang in balance at COP28

There is still work to be done — especially when it comes to guaranteeing the Global North's participation in financing Loss and Damage, and ensuring the Global South has representation and oversight on the World Bank's board.

Latest News

  1. Israel recalls ambassador to Spain in new diplomatic spat
  2. Migrant return bill 'obstructed' as EU states mull new position
  3. Paris and Berlin key to including rape in gender-violence directive
  4. What are the big money debates at COP28 UN climate summit?
  5. 'Pay or okay?' — Facebook & Instagram vs the EU
  6. EU offers Turkey upgrade, as Sweden nears Nato entry
  7. Russia loses seat on board of chemical weapons watchdog
  8. Finland's closure of Russia border likely violates asylum law

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersArtist Jessie Kleemann at Nordic pavilion during UN climate summit COP28
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP28: Gathering Nordic and global experts to put food and health on the agenda
  3. Friedrich Naumann FoundationPoems of Liberty – Call for Submission “Human Rights in Inhume War”: 250€ honorary fee for selected poems
  4. World BankWorld Bank report: How to create a future where the rewards of technology benefit all levels of society?
  5. Georgia Ministry of Foreign AffairsThis autumn Europalia arts festival is all about GEORGIA!
  6. UNOPSFostering health system resilience in fragile and conflict-affected countries

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us