by Staff Writers
United Nations (AFP) Sept 27, 2012
Iran must take urgent action to allay mounting international concerns over its nuclear drive, EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said Thursday after talks among the major powers.
"We discussed at length the need for Iran to take action urgently as we considered the Iranian nuclear issue," Ashton told reporters after the talks with the foreign ministers of Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and United States.
The meeting took place after Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanded the international community set "a clear red line" to stop Iran getting a nuclear bomb, in a speech at the UN headquarters.
There has been mounting speculation that Israel is planning a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.
The European Union's foreign policy chief, who engages with Iran on behalf of the international powers, said she updated the foreign ministers on her talks with Iran's chief negotiator Saeed Jalili in Istanbul last week.
"I will from that meeting now be in touch with Iran to continue this process," Ashton added.
A senior US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Ashton will discuss "possible next steps" raised by the ministers.
France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the meeting had been short because the major powers were united in the Iran crisis.
"We agreed that the main word is 'unity,' unity and to exert pressure," Fabius told reporters.
"What is very important is that the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany are completely united on the behavior we have to have toward Iran."
The senior US official also said the international group "is completely united in ensuring that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon."
The six nations have pursued a dual track of applying pressure through sanctions while holding talks with Iran's government, which denies that it is trying to develop a nuclear weapon.
Western officials say, however, that Iran is stonewalling in the negotiations. UN ambassadors for the United States, Britain and France have warned that time is running out for a negotiated settlement.
"We believe it is necessary for Iran to understand that there are consequences to their not addressing the concerns of the international community. And we believe that it also helps create space for diplomacy which is far away the preferred way to deal with this issue," the US official said.
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad this week shrugged off the threat of an Israeli strike. But pressure has mounted following speeches at the UN General Assembly by US President Barack Obama and Netanyahu.
"The United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon," Obama warned.
Netanyahu called for a "clear red line" to stop Iran enriching enough uranium to make a bomb.
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com
Learn about missile defense at SpaceWar.com
All about missiles at SpaceWar.com
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com
Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.
Iran hits out at US plan to take MEK off terror list
Tehran (AFP) Sept 26, 2012
Tehran on Wednesday condemned a planned move by Washington to remove an Iranian opposition group based abroad, the People's Mujahedeen of Iran, from its blacklist of designated terrorist groups. "The United States' double standard in dealing with terrorism and instrumental use of these groups for political gain is not a new issue," foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast was quoted as ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|