'UN report reinforces worries over Iranian threat'

Britain considering new unilateral sanctions on Iran; Germany says it will push for resolution urging Iran to return to negotiating table.

Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor 311 Reu (photo credit: Raheb Homavandi / Reuters)
Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor 311 Reu
(photo credit: Raheb Homavandi / Reuters)
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.
British Foreign 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 international allies.
RELATED:'IAEA report should change int'l approach to Iran' Barak not optimistic about int'l will to stop Iranian nukesAnalysis: Last chance to stop Iran non-militarily"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 Steffen Seibert.He 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.
Click here for full Jpost coverage of the Iranian threatClick here for full Jpost coverage of the Iranian threat
Francealso 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.
"If 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."