Germany ready to impose more sanctions on Iran

19th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

19 September 2007, Berlin (dpa) - Germany is prepared to impose further sanctions on Iran in the dispute with Tehran over its nuclear programme, a top official in Berlin's Foreign Ministry said.

19 September 2007

Berlin (dpa) - Germany is prepared to impose further sanctions on Iran in the dispute with Tehran over its nuclear programme, a top official in Berlin's Foreign Ministry said.

"As long as Iran fails to fulfil demands by the international community to suspend uranium enrichment, pressure must be maintained," Deputy Foreign Minister Gernot Erler said in an interview with Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa in Berlin. "We are prepared, with our partners, to discuss and decide on further sanctions."

Germany is to meet with the five permanent, veto-wielding members of the UN Security Council - France, Britain, the United States, China and Russia - on Friday in Washington to discuss a new council resolution against Iran. The meeting is to be followed a week later by discussions at the United Nations in New York.

Erler welcomed French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner's clarification of comments he made Sunday in which he said the international community must prepare for the "worst" in the dispute with Iran, adding that the worst was war.

During a visit Tuesday to Moscow, which expressed concern about possible war plans against Iran, Kouchner said he was no "warmonger" and, "Everything has to be done to avoid war."

"We are happy that he made it clear that France would not veer away from the common ground with its partners the United States, China and Russia," Erler said.

If a new UN resolution on sanctions is passed, it would be the third one against Iran after sanctions won approval in December and March.

Members of the international community have been worried that Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons, but Tehran has steadfastly declared that its nuclear programme is intended exclusively for the production of energy, not arms.

Russia and China have resisted coming down too hard on Iran, which has refused to stop enriching uranium, which can be used for bombs, and even expanded the effort in defiance of the previous Security Council sanctions resolutions.

Kouchner said Sunday that there was "no greater crisis today" than that over Teheran's developing nuclear programme. He called on the European Union to impose economic sanctions on Tehran outside of those imposed by the United Nations.

DPA

Subject: German news

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