'US, EU united on Iran nuclear issue'

Only option left is Security Council sanctions, French officials say.

February 9, 2010 00:18
1 minute read.
Iranian missile carried on flatbed truck

Iran missile.. (photo credit: AP)

The US and the EU are united in the conviction that more sanctions are needed against Iran, French Defense Minister Herve Morin said Monday, various news agencies reported.

“We don’t have any other option than to go to the Security Council for further measures,” Morin was quoted as saying following a meeting with US Defense Secretary Robert Gates. “On the Iran nuclear issue, our views totally converge.”

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Also speaking on the Iranian nuclear issue was French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, who was quoted by AFP as saying Monday afternoon that Iran’s usage of “blackmail” over its atomic program was forcing Western powers to insist on sanctions. “Negotiation is not possible,” he reportedly said.

After announcing Sunday that it would begin to enrich uranium in defiance of repeated entreaties by the UN and Western leaders, the regime in Teheran declared on Monday that it would enrich the potentially fissile material to 20 percent.

Iran’s announcement also served as a final, official rejection of a UN-brokered plan which would have required the Islamic republic to ship most of its uranium abroad to France, where it would undergo further processing into metal fuel rods.

The plan was backed by Russia and China, strong proponents of diplomacy and dialogue with Iran over its nuclear program as an alternative to economic sanctions.

Iran claims its nuclear program is a peaceful initiative overseen by its civilian energy ministry.

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