Friday, January 13, 2006
Iran Threatens to Block U.N. Inspections
By ALI AKBAR DAREINI
Associated Press Writer
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran threatened on Friday to block inspections of its nuclear sites if confronted by the U.N. Security Council over its atomic activities. The hard-line president reaffirmed his country's intention to produce nuclear energy.
The move came a day after France, Britain and Germany - backed by the United States - said that nuclear talks with Iran had reached a dead end after more than two years of acrimonious negotiations and the issue should be referred to the Security Council.
With the support of Russia and China uncertain, however, they refrained from calling on the 15-nation council to impose sanctions and said they remained open to more talks.
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corp., said Friday: "Obviously if Iran failed to comply, the Security Council would then consider sanctions."
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said a "strong message" had to be sent to Tehran but said she was not ready to talk about what action should be taken to curtail Iran's nuclear ambitions.
The White House declined to predict the stance of Russia and China on referring Iran to the Security Council. Spokesman Scott McClellan said he wouldn't speak for other countries, but said it's clear that the international community is speaking with one voice not to allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons.
Straw said he had "strong suspicion" that Iran wanted to build a nuclear bomb but stressed that there was no categorical evidence to prove that.
He added that while Iran could face Security Council sanctions for resuming its nuclear activities, military action is not being considered.
"To quote the White House `Iran is not Iraq'," Straw told the BBC.
China urged restraint and called on Iran to do more to build mutual trust and promote the resumption of talks.
GOI: This is all very, very interesting and GOI will be following this developing story closely.
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