UN needs Iran resolution with teeth: French FM

9th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 8, 2006 (AFP) - The UN Security Council should send a "firm and unified signal to convince Iran to return to the negotiating table," French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said in comments published Monday.

PARIS, May 8, 2006 (AFP) - The UN Security Council should send a "firm and unified signal to convince Iran to return to the negotiating table," French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said in comments published Monday.

Last month the Security Council gave Iran 30 days to respond to questions from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and to suspend uranium enrichment. "Not only has Iran not replied to the questions, but it has accelerated its enrichment programme," Douste-Blazy said in an interview in the Figaro daily.

"The Security Council resolution should strengthen the authority of the IAEA and give obligatory force to its demand for the suspension of activities linked to enrichment, including that for research purposes. We must respond to Iran in a united, firm and rapid manner," he added.

Foreign ministers of six major powers were to meet in New York later Monday in a fresh bid to map out a common strategy to force Iran to halt its sensitive nuclear fuel work that could be used for bombs.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will host her counterparts from Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia as well as European Union foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, at a working dinner that will focus on Tehran's rejection of repeated UN demands to halt uranium enrichment.

The meeting coincides with continuing bargaining in the 15-member UN Security Council on a Franco-British draft resolution that would legally require Iran to freeze all uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities.

Tehran vowed Sunday that it would refuse to comply with such a resolution, warning the diplomatic crisis was heading toward a "confrontation".

French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a joint call for a tough UN stance Sunday, saying the Security Council must adopt "a resolution making obligatory the requests of the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), notably the suspension of uranium enrichment," according to the French president's office.

In an interview with the German television channel ARD broadcast Sunday, US President George W. Bush said: "If we want to solve this diplomatically, there must be a common front with a common strategy to achieve the objective."

Western powers suspect Iran is using its civilian atomic program as a cover to develop nuclear weapons. But Iran insists its aims are peaceful and claims it has the right to pursue uranium enrichment as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

0 Comments To This Article