Governments throughout Europe on Wednesday raised concern over the
IAEA report of Iran's nuclear program, as the UK considered new unilateral sanctions and Germany and France called
for the UN Security Council to convene over the matter.
Secretary William Hague told Parliament on Wednesday that Britain is considering how to raise pressure on Iran over its nuclear
program, both unilaterally and with its
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"We've already introduced unprecedented UN and European Union
sanctions on Iran. We are working to ensure their robust implementation,
to close loopholes, to discourage trade with Iran. We are in
discussions about increasing this pressure and we are also considering
further unilateral measures should Iran fail to comply with their
responsibilities," Hague said.
"We are looking at additional measures against the Iranian financial
sector, the oil and gas sector, and the designation of further entities
and individuals involved with their nuclear program," he added.
"Iran needs to change direction," the foreign minister continued. "We are prepared to have
further talks, but only if Iran is prepared to engage in serious
negotiations about its nuclear program without preconditions."
The German government said that the UN nuclear watchdog's
findings that Iran had worked on the design of an atomic bomb and may
still be conducting secret research reinforced concerns about the
country's nuclear program.
"The German government has been
concerned for a long time about the progress of Iran's atomic program
and its possible true character. The content of the report naturally
reinforces these worries considerably," said government spokesman
said the IAEA report would be presented at the
United Nations next week "and we will push for a clear resolution urging
Iran to meet its commitments to the UN Security Council" and return to
the negotiating table.
also said it wants to bring together members of the UN Security Council and could
push for unprecedented sanctions in light of the International Atomic
Energy Agency report.
"Convening of the UN Security Council is
called for," Foreign Minister Alain Juppe told RFI radio, adding that
pressure needed to be ramped up on Iran and that France was willing to
go further with sanctions.
"We cannot accept this situation which is a threat," said Juppe.
In a statement, Juppe said diplomatic pressure needed to be ramped up.
Iran refuses to conform to the demands of the international community
and refuses any serious cooperation, we stand ready to adopt, with other
willing countries, sanctions on an unprecedented scale," Juppe said.
China, meanwhile, called for a peaceful resolution to the Iranian
nuclear issue, amidst Chinese media speculation that the Iranian nuclear
program would lead to a showdown between the Islamic Republic the West.
"China advocates using peaceful means to resolve the Iran nuclear
issue," Chinese Foreign Minister Hong Lei told a daily news briefing.
Hong said China - one of five permanent members of the Security Council
also including France - was still studying the report, but urged Iran to
show "flexibility" and "sincerity."
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