News / Middle East

West Keeps up Pressure on Iran’s Nuclear Program

United Nations Security Council at its meeting on the issue of Iran and nuclear non-proliferation, September 7, 2011
United Nations Security Council at its meeting on the issue of Iran and nuclear non-proliferation, September 7, 2011

Western nations on Wednesday warned that they will not let up their pressure on Iran to comply with international demands that it suspend its nuclear enrichment activities and answer questions about its disputed atomic program. 

Speaking at the regular briefing of the Security Council’s Iran sanctions committee, French Chargé d’Affaires Martin Briens said questions about the nature of Iran’s nuclear ambitions remain a top concern.  He is heard here through a translator.

“The eyes of the international community are currently diverted elsewhere, focusing on Syria, Libya - and Iran may believe that it can profit from this situation," said Briens. "It has increased the number of centrifuges and provocative statements, but we are not misled by this.”

France’s envoy said Iran’s military-oriented nuclear ambitions pose a “growing and constant threat” and noted Tehran’s June launch of a satellite using ballistic missile technology that is prohibited under a U.N. Security Council resolution as yet another violation of international demands.

For the past nine years, Iran has failed to provide the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, with the requested guarantees that its program is strictly civilian in nature.

U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said the agency’s latest report, released last week, underscored Iran’s continued lack of cooperation.

“Iran refuses to address outstanding issues related to its nuclear program," she said. "The Director General reports that Iran is continuing enrichment and heavy water-related activities in defiance of both this council and the IAEA Board of Governors.  Iran still refuses to respond substantively to information regarding possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program.”

Ambassador Rice told reporters that the United States remains “very focused” on preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

Western diplomats, along with those from Russia and China, have pursued a two-track strategy of engagement and pressure with Iran.

German Ambassador Peter Wittig said that will continue as a way to get Iran to the negotiating table. “We continue to be ready to engage Iran in meaningful negotiations about its nuclear program in the framework of the engagement track," he said. "This is our preferred choice.  However, as long as Iran does not cooperate to the extent necessary, we see no other option but to pursue the pressure track.”

Other delegations, including those from Russia, China and India, urged dialogue to improve confidence and mutual trust.  But they also advised Iran to dispel any lingering questions about the nature of its nuclear program.

The U.N. Security Council has imposed four sets of sanctions against Iran for its atomic activities, but Tehran says its nuclear ambitions are peaceful.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs