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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid