Reuters: The major world powers will insist Iran halts all nuclear enrichment and rejects a compromise put forward by the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said on Wednesday.
By Carol Giacomo
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The major world powers will insist Iran halts all nuclear enrichment and rejects a compromise put forward by the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said on Wednesday.
At the White House, a spokesman called the new report by International Atomic Energy Agency “a laundry list of Iran’s continued defiance of the international and shows that Iran’s leaders are only furthering the isolation of the Iranian people.”
The State Department’s Burns said: “We are not going to agree to accept limited enrichment, to accept that 1,300 centrifuges can continue spinning at their plant at Natanz.”
Iran had not only ignored a U.N. Security Council deadline to stop uranium enrichment activity but expanded it, according to the IAEA report.
“The United States will consult with our partners on next steps, but now is the time for Iran to comply with the United Nations Security Council, cooperate with the IAEA and most importantly, suspend its enrichment related activities,” White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.
The U.N. Security Council has passed two resolutions to penalize Iran for having failed to meet international demands that it suspend uranium enrichment, which can be used for civilian nuclear energy purposes or to make a bomb.
Major Western governments suspect Iran is using its civilian nuclear program as a cover to develop nuclear weapons. Iran denies this, saying it wants nuclear power to produce electricity.
(Additional reporting by Steve Holland and Arshad Mohammed)