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U.S. renews threats against Iran

Al Jazeera | May 18, 2005

Bush’s administration reiterated its threat to refer Iran to the UN Security Council

Bush’s administration reiterated on Tuesday its threat to refer Iran’s nuclear dossier to the United Nations Security Council for possible sanctions, after the Iranian parliament voted to allow the resumption of the country's uranium enrichment program.

Iran agreed last November to temporarily suspended uranium enrichment.

But lately it announced its intention to resume the program after its negotiations with the European Union failed to reach positive results.

Iranian officials will meet with diplomats from the EU-big three; Britain, France and Germany this week to discuss the issue, in what foreign ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Assefi called a ''last chance,'' the state run Iranian News Agency reported on May 15.

''One of the options is definitely to go to the Security Council'' if Iran refused to halt all activities related to uranium enrichment, U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said yesterday in Washington at a press briefing.

''That's something that I'll remind you we have supported all along and we haven't changed our position.''

The Iranian parliament urged the government 'to take action to obtain peaceful nuclear technology'.

The European Union big states have initiated nuclear talks aimed at persuading Iran suspend its nuclear program through diplomacy.

Iranian legislators who voted for the bill accused the EU for having "no goodwill'' and ignoring Iran's proposals, which allowed UN inspectors to visit the country's nuclear sites, IRNA added.

Last week, The British Prime Minister Tony Blair warned Iran that if it didn’t stick to its previous pledges to give details about its nuclear program, it will face condemnation from the United Nations Security Council.

Speaking at a monthly press conference in Lebanon, the British Prime Minister said: ''We certainly will support referral to the UN Security Council if Iran breaches its obligations,''

''Those international rules are there for a reason and they've got to be adhered to.''

On April 22, Iran’s Bushehr plant won the all-clear from the International Atomic Energy Agency; the United Nations' nuclear watchdog.

The IAEA said Iran is "aggressively enforcing'' quality control over the reactor in Bushehr and that the installation meets international safety standards.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan warned Washington that the SC might face a deadlock if asked to punish Iran for its nuclear program, USA Today said on Monday.

The United States and Britain are trying to lobby international support to refer Iran to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions if it resumed its nuclear activities.

"China and Russia, which have strong economic ties to Iran, might veto any push to sanction Iran," Annan told the USA Today .

"Action or inaction will have a great impact on future cases and on our efforts to promote nuclear non-proliferation," Annan said.

Annan believes that the deadlock on Iran would embolden North Korea and future North Koreas.

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