- Nov 22, 2003
- Reaction score
Right, the US should just 'shut up' and send money to the UN.Six powers say Iran ignored UN
By Louis Charbonneau 2 hours, 36 minutes ago
BERLIN (Reuters) -
Iran has failed to meet a U.N. Security Council demand that it suspend nuclear enrichment, six world powers agreed on Thursday, but there was growing opposition to U.S. calls for sanctions against Tehran.
Senior officials from Germany, France, Britain, the United States, Russia and China met in Berlin to work out a strategy on Iran, but while they agreed Tehran had not halted enrichment, there was little sign the powers agreed on what to do about it.
"There was a common analysis on where we were," said a senior
European Union diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity. The
International Atomic Energy Agency, he said, "made clear that Iran has not met the requirements of the Security Council and the IAEA."
Tehran rejects Western accusations that it is trying to develop nuclear arms and refuses to halt its enrichment program, which could produce fuel for atomic bombs. Iran, the world's fourth biggest oil exporter, says it only wants to produce low-grade enriched fuel to generate electricity.
The IAEA said Iran was not fully cooperating with its inspectors and was still producing uranium fuel up to the Security Council's August 31 deadline. Now one wonders, what things were they cooperating with?
"We had a first discussion of next steps in the Security Council following the lines of resolution 1696," he said.
The resolution said sanctions could follow if Iran failed to meet the deadline, but the diplomat declined to say whether there was any consensus on what steps should be taken and when.
The diplomat said all countries hoped Iran would suspend enrichment and begin negotiations on a package of incentives the six powers offered to Iran in June.
"The door remains open to Iran," he said. Of course it does...
Consultations among the six countries will now continue next week after Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani meets EU foreign policy chief on Saturday to discuss Iran's 21-page response to the offer of incentives.
Asked whether there was agreement between the six that it was now time to impose sanctions on Iran, the diplomat referred repeatedly to resolution 1696, a motion passed on July 31 which raised the possibility that Tehran could face U.N. sanctions.
EU DOESN'T WANT SANCTIONS
Despite the presentation of a unified front after the nearly four-hour meeting in Berlin, the United States faces growing opposition to its bid to persuade the other powers to impose sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, with China urging dialogue and France signaling flexibility on the suspension.
"EU states don't really want sanctions but now they realize they're trapped by the Security Council resolution. There isn't likely to be a consensus within Germany's government, same for France," said another EU diplomat, adding that Britain would probably continue to support sanctions.
While China and Russia also implicitly backed the idea of sanctions by voting for resolution 1696, they both remain reluctant to penalize the Islamic Republic and question Western accusations that Iran poses a nuclear threat.
Before the meeting China's Foreign Ministry stressed the diplomatic options, calling for the standoff with Iran to "be resolved through negotiation and dialogue in a peaceful way."
France also indicated it was not yet time for sanctions by suggesting world powers may be flexible over a previous demand that Iran suspend its enrichment work before starting talks.
Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said the timing of any suspension was crucial and that it could be discussed. I think this means wait until they develop the bomb making the whole issue moot, or US/Israel respond...
"It's a major question ... which will perhaps emerge as important in the weeks ahead," he told reporters.
The second EU diplomat expressed surprise at Douste-Blazy's comments, which he said showed Tehran may have undermined unity among the so-called EU3 of Britain, France and Germany. No shit, but that is what the French do.
"It's astonishing as it indicates Iran has already managed to drive a wedge within the EU3," he said. "It has been Iranian strategy for years to split the international community."
Iran insists it has a right to peaceful nuclear technology.
"The Americans must realize the language of threats does not work. A nuclear state that used nuclear weapons in Hiroshima and Nagasaki cannot demand other countries not use nuclear power for peaceful purposes," Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told a news conference in the Belarusian capital Minsk.