AFP: EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana refused Tuesday to comment on the possibility of non-United Nations sanctions against Iran after France urged the European Union to impose its own measures. BRUSSELS, Sept 18, 2007 (AFP) – EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana refused Tuesday to comment on the possibility of non-United Nations sanctions against Iran after France urged the European Union to impose its own measures.
“This has not been presented in a formal way. I cannot respond to this possibility if it does not exist on the table,” he told AFP on the sidelines of a meeting of EU justice and interior ministers in Brussels.
“The nuclear dossier is a very sensitive dossier and a way has to be found to make progress,” said Solana, who has been negotiating to get Iran to suspend uranium enrichment in exchange for political and trade incentives.
“There is a (UN) Security Council resolution and Iran must respond positively to that,” he added.
Solana’s comments, made alongside French Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie, came after French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said Monday that tensions with Iran were now “extreme”.
That statement heightened a diplomatic storm caused when French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner warned Sunday that the world should prepare for a possible conflict over Iran’s alleged work on a nuclear weapon.
While French leaders said they would prefer a negotiated settlement, they also put forward a proposal to prepare European sanctions against Iran, beyond those already implemented by the United Nations.
The five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany — who tasked Solana with trying to find a way to relaunch nuclear talks with Iran — are to discuss soon new UN sanctions.
Iran rejects demands to stop enriching uranium as a precondition to any talks on its nuclear ambitions. The Islamic republic maintains that its atomic programme is aimed exclusively at generating electricity.