Thursday, January 12, 2006

U.N. must stop Iran's nuclear weapons program

The United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and France said today that the United Nations must act now to stop Iran's nuclear weapons program. Direct talks with Iran about its nuclear program are going nowhere, top officials of the four nations said. An emergency meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency to report on Iran's defiance to the U.N. Security Council was called for, a step that could lead to sanctions against Tehran, possibly including an embargo on Iran's oil exports. "Our talks with Iran have reached a dead end," German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in Berlin. "The council should call for the Iranian regime to step away from its nuclear weapons ambitions," U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said. Rice said the four powers would consult with other nations, including Russia and China, two permanent members of the Security Council that have been less hostile to Iran's program. Rice said that even Russia and China have soundly denounced Iran's move on Tuesday to resume uranium enrichment by unsealing IAEA seals on its equipment. Enriched uranium can be used either to generate electricity or for nuclear weapons. Iran has said it intends only peaceful uses, but has rejected offers by the Europeans to provide uranium for nuclear power.

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