NewsSpecial WireTories call on Britain’s Blair to take action on...

Tories call on Britain’s Blair to take action on Iran

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Iran Focus: London, May 22 – Britain’s opposition Conservative Party called on the government of incumbent Prime Minister Tony Blair to step up the pressure on Iran at the United Nations Security Council to tackle its nuclear proliferation threat. Iran Focus

London, May 22 – Britain’s opposition Conservative Party called on the government of incumbent Prime Minister Tony Blair to step up the pressure on Iran at the United Nations Security Council to tackle its nuclear proliferation threat.

Speaking in central London, Tory party leader David Cameron warned that Britain’s current stance was failing. He urged the British government to adopt a more robust carrot-and-stick approach, combining stiffer penalties with the clearest possible incentives – designed to persuade Tehran to return to the negotiating table

“Within the European Union, the British government should be working with our allies to push for heavier penalties for Iran’s non compliance. The EU is Iran’s biggest trading partner. It should bring its influence fully to bear, including limiting access of Iranian banks to the European financial system, progressively restricting new export credit guarantees to Iran, and beginning targeted action to restrict European investment in Iranian oil and gas fields”, Cameron said.

He warned of the prospect of Iran becoming armed with nuclear weapons at a time when violence was continuing in neighbouring Iraq and Afghanistan, and said, “Our aim should be clear: to persuade Iran to suspend its nuclear programme, come into compliance with International Atomic Energy Agency and UN Security Council resolutions, and return to negotiations”.

Tougher penalties meant increasing the extent and scope of sanctions, while incentives should include an improved prospect of talks, particularly with the United States, Cameron said.

Britain should push more vigorously for sanctions at the UN, including tougher restrictions on individuals involved in Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, the banning of new arms sales to Iran, and action to discourage new investment in Iran’s nuclear programme, he added.

“We should work with the United States more energetically to ensure that Iran is presented with the right incentives – if it chooses the right path.

“Bigger penalties; the clearest possible incentives. This is the necessary approach which is now becoming extremely urgent”, he added.

“Make no mistake: the threat is growing. The scale and urgency of our response need to match it. We need action at the UN, in the EU, and with the US. The world needs to present Iran’s leaders with a clear choice. Either you talk to us, engage with the world and integrate into the international community – with all the benefits that could bring for your people. Or you face heavier sanctions, growing isolation and pariah status”, Cameron said.

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