Iran General NewsIran sanctions 'essential': US

Iran sanctions ‘essential’: US

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AFP: The United States on Wednesday said it was “essential” for the United Nations Security Council to impose sanctions on Iran, saying the prospect of Tehran with a nuclear arsenal was “intolerable.” WASHINGTON, Sept 6, 2006 (AFP) – The United States on Wednesday said it was “essential” for the United Nations Security Council to impose sanctions on Iran, saying the prospect of Tehran with a nuclear arsenal was “intolerable.”

Robert Joseph, US under secretary of state for arms control and international security, said he believed a vote on sanctions could come this month, and he expected permanent council members Russia and China would sign on.

The latest US call for sanctions came days after Iran ignored an August 31 deadline to stop uranium enrichment, and on the eve of six-nation talks in Berlin on the deepening nuclear crisis.

The campaign also picked up pace after President George W. Bush on Tuesday branded Iran’s leaders “tyrants” and said they must not be allowed to get nuclear weapons, “the tools of mass murder.”

“It is now essential that we move to adopt sanctions against Iran,” Joseph told foreign reporters in Washington.

“A nuclear-armed Iran is intolerable — not just to the United States but to the entire international community,” Joseph said.

“As the president said, now there must be costs, there must be costs imposed on Iran.”

Joseph also said he expected China and Russia to support sanctions, despite signs they were reluctant to punish Tehran.

“I think China, like Russia and the other states that voted for the resolution, will support what is called for in the resolution,” he said.

“I think it is very important when a country like Russia or China supports a resolution that is going to have an impact on their decision making,” said Joseph, referring to UN Resolution 1696, which threatened sanctions if Iran missed the deadline.

“The fundamental bargain has been struck.”

Joseph said it was difficult to predict how quickly diplomatic discussions would take, but asked whether a vote could take place this month, he said: “My own personal assessment would be yes.”

Iran denies that its nuclear program is geared toward weapons development.

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