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    Rice: World United in Views on Iran

    Lisa Bryant

    Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the international community is united in demanding that Iran give up its nuclear weapons program. 

    Condoleezza Rice met with her counterparts from Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia, just hours after the United Nations Security Council approved a non-binding statement giving Iran 30 days to suspend its nuclear enrichment program.

    Although the language of the proposal was not as tough as some council members had been seeking, Secretary of State Rice said it sends a clear message to Iran.

    "I think this does send a very strong signal to Iran that the international community is united and expects Iran to adhere to the just demands of the international community that its nuclear activities be demonstrably for civilian purposes," she said.

    During their talks in Berlin the ministers stressed the views they had in common.  British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said Tehran was wrong to believe the international community was divided over Iran's nuclear activities.

    "Truthfully, it has become more united," he said.  "This is a difficult issue. We had long discussions about it. But this matter has now been discussed within the Security Council.  We've issued a unanimous presidential statement, which sends a very clear message to Iran. I hope Iran heeds those messages because if they fail to do so, as the statement makes clear, the matter will be further considered by the Security Council."

    In Geneva, Iran's foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, dismissed criticism of its nuclear program as unjustified propaganda.  He reiterated Tehran's argument that its nuclear enrichment activities are only for peaceful ends.

    The Berlin meeting was the first leg of a European trip by Secretary of State Rice that includes stops in France and Britain. The Middle East is also on the agenda later today in Paris, when Rice is to hold talks with French President Jacques Chirac.

    Rice spends the weekend in northern England, as a guest of Foreign Secretary Straw.

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