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

Computer Crash Halts US Visa, Passport Operation

Problems with database have resulted in extensive backlog of applications, affected State Department's consular offices all over the world More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

World Bank: Boko Haram Stalls African Aid Projects

Islamist group’s terrorism sets back agriculture, health efforts in Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria 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.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid