The British Foreign Office says the meeting is being called for
February 2 and 3 of the 35-nation board of the International Atomic Energy
The objective is for the IAEA to refer Iran to the U.N. Security
Council. The Council, in turn, could impose sanctions on Iran for
restarting its nuclear program at a uranium
The British statement comes after a close-door meeting in London of
senior officials from Britain, France and Germany, along with their
counterparts from the United States, Russia and China.
All the countries hold permanent seats on the Security Council, except
The European countries still hold out hope
for a diplomatic settlement with Iran after last week declaring
negotiations had hit a dead end. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw says
the Security Council does not necessarily have to impose sanctions.
"There are plenty of examples where a matter is referred to the
Security Council, and the Security Council takes action, and that action
is followed without the need for decisions on sanctions," he said.
Diplomats say the main focus of Monday's meeting in London was to
convince Russia and China of the need to ratchet up pressure on Iran.
Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country is moving closer to
the Western position on Iran. China, which buys a considerable amount of
Iranian oil, is urging restraint and more negotiations with Tehran.
Iran says it wants nuclear power for peaceful, civilian purposes. But
the United States and the major European Union powers suspect Iran intends
to build nuclear weapons.
International concern also has risen since Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad recently said Israel should be, in his words, "wiped off the