IAEA decision brings Iran crisis closer to the brink, says Greenpeace.

Press release - 4 February, 2006

Vienna, Saturday, February 4, 2006- The International AtomicEnergy Agency's  decision to report Iran to the UN SecurityCouncil will seriously increase the risk of escalating tensions in theregion, Greenpeace said today.

"Reporting Iran to the UN Security Council has  created  a vacuum of confidence building, a situation that IAEAhead ElBaradei said he was intent on avoiding,"  said Greenpeacenuclear analyst William Peden, speaking from IAEA headquarters inVienna. "Board members supporting the EU-3 draft resolution have effectively shot themselves in the foot.  The Iran crisis has beenbrought closer to the brink."

"There will be no winners in this dispute. Iran  has made itquite clear that they will now severely restrict inspections and nolonger comply with requests to reveal information above and beyond whatis legally required under existing treaty obligations.  Alldiplomatic initiatives will also be dead in the water, escalatingfurther tensions on all sides. It is clear that the heightened mistruston both sides will make resolution of this crisis all the moredifficult."

"The real solution to this crisis is a true and meaningful NuclearFree Zone in the Middle East, not one which is paid lip service to,"said Peden. "It is a vital first step towards removing all nuclearproliferation risks in the region, as well as providing the essentialsecurity guarantees from nuclear weapons states outside the region. Ifwe don't seriously contemplate this option then the world will, as UNSecretary General Kofi Annan pointed out a few days ago, lurch fromnuclear crisis to nuclear crisis," Peden concluded.

Greenpeace is opposed to any nation acquiring nuclear technology andnuclear weapons, It believes that the current crisis is borne out ofthe clear contradiction in the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty thatobliges signatories to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons whilstat the same time encouraging their access to nuclear technology thatcan be diverted to produce those weapons.

Greenpeace is an independent campaigning organisation that usesnon-violent creative confrontation to expose global environmentalproblems to force solutions that are essential to a green and peacefulfuture.

Media Enquiries:

Michael Kessler, Greenpeace International Media Officer +34 660 637 053

(in Vienna) William Peden, Greenpeace International Nuclear Analyst +31 653 504 731

Nicky Davies, Greenpeace International, Disarmament campaigner +31 646 197 330