Thursday, November 10, 2005

Britain's Straw warns Iran on nuclear compliance

Yahoo News:

Wed Nov 9, 6:57 AM ET

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw on Wednesday said referring Iran to the U.N. Security Council remained an option if Tehran did not comply with international obligations on its nuclear activities.

Speaking after talks with the Russian leadership on Tehran's nuclear program, Straw told reporters: "I say this on behalf of the EU3 (Britain, France and Germany): We do not wish to see Iran referred to the Security Council."

But he said a signatory member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty could be reported to the Council if it was seen to be in breach of its obligations. "I hope the Iranian government understands what is expected of it," he said.

Straw, who met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, said the EU would like to see Iran implement the terms of a September resolution by the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that it freeze all sensitive nuclear activities.

Russia, which has built a nuclear reactor in southern Iran, defends Tehran's right to pursue a peaceful nuclear program and says EU and US suspicions that it is trying to develop a nuclear weapon are not proven.

But when asked about the differences between Moscow and Brussels over Iran, Lavrov sought to paper over the cracks.

"There is nothing to assess. There is no gap," between our positions, Lavrov told journalists.

Straw had to cut his visit to Moscow short after British Prime Minister Tony Blair recalled top ministers to vote in parliament on anti-terrorism measures.

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