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UN Security Council Calls on Iran to Halt Enrichment Program


The five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany are calling on Iran to halt its uranium enrichment, a call rejected by the government in Tehran.

In Berlin Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the international community is united in demanding that Iran stop its controversial nuclear activities. She spoke after meeting with the foreign ministers of Germany, France, Britain, China and Russia.

But Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, Aliasghar Soltaniyeh, told news agencies that Tehran will definitely not suspend enrichment activities.

The United States accuses Iran of using its uranium enrichment program to develop a nuclear weapon, a charge Tehran denies.

After Thursday's talks, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Iran must decide between self-imposed isolation because of its nuclear actions, or returning to the talks.

On Wednesday, the U.N. Security Council approved a statement giving Iran 30 days to suspend its uranium enrichment activity.

The U.N. statement, which is far milder than its sponsors had hoped, is seen as an accommodation of objections from Russia and China. They argue that the Iranian nuclear issue should be handled by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday that Moscow does not believe sanctions against Iran can achieve a settlement.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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