Accessibility links

Britain's Brown Warns Iran It Faces Isolation


British Prime Minister Gordon Brown says Iran faces growing isolation unless it agrees to suspend its nuclear program. VOA's Jim Teeple reports from Jerusalem, Mr. Brown spoke to the Israeli Knesset during a tour of the Middle East.

Gordon Brown is the first British Prime Minister to address the Israeli parliament.

Mr. Brown says remarks by Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to "wipe Israel off the map" are totally abhorrent. He says Iran's leaders face growing isolation unless they agree to suspend their nuclear-enrichment program.

"We stand ready to lead in taking further sanctions, and will ask the whole international community to join us," said Mr. Brown. " Iran has a clear choice to make - suspend its nuclear-weapons program and accept our offer of negotiations or face growing isolation and the collective response not just of one nation, but of all nations around the world."

Iranian officials say their nuclear-enrichment program is only for generating electricity.

At talks Saturday in Geneva, the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China offered Iran a two-week deadline to accept a plan that involves Iran freezing its nuclear program, in exchange for the international community putting new sanctions on hold for six weeks, until formal negotiations can begin.

Israeli officials say they have no desire for conflict with Iran, but they say Iran's nuclear program and Iran's ballistic-missile program must be a grave concern to the international community.

Mr. Brown also called for Israel to work closely with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to achieve peace in the Middle East. He says the parameters of a peace agreement are clear.

"A two-state solution based on the 1967 borders; a democratic Israel, secure from attack, recognized and at peace with all its neighbors alongside a peaceful and territorially viable state of Palestine that accepts you as its friend and partner, with Jerusalem the capital of both and a just and agreed settlement for refugees," he added.

Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told the Knesset that after eight months of talks with the Palestinians major gaps remain between the two sides - but he says they can be bridged.

On Sunday, Mr. Brown met with Palestinian leaders in the West Bank town of Bethlehem where he called for Israel to stop building settlements in the West Bank - saying nothing should stand in the way of a comprehensive settlement to the Israeli Palestinian conflict.


XS
SM
MD
LG