Finland: Iran talks preferable, sanctions possible

September 20, 2006 00:04

European Union nations favor negotiations with Iran to persuade it to suspend its nuclear enrichment program, but sanctions may become necessary if Tehran continues to dodge international demands, Finland's President Tarja Halonen said Tuesday. Her comments on the sidelines of the General Assembly came as US President George W. Bush warned that Iran should come to the negotiation table without delay - or face sanctions. Halonen also emphasized that time is of the essence, and though in the international community, "we are not speaking about sanctions now," this may change soon. "Always, if you have negotiations, you have limited time, and we cannot guarantee what happens if you don't get results," Halonen told reporters. A nuclear power plant in Iran - which Russia is building under a US$800 million (€631 million) deal, against US objections - will be commissioned in the fall of 2007, Russia's nuclear chief said Monday. The Aug. 31 UN deadline for Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment program has come and gone, and little has changed.

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