Iran Nuclear NewsEU urges Iran to resolve nuclear standoff

EU urges Iran to resolve nuclear standoff

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ImageAP: The European Union said Wednesday that Iran has a few months, at best, to find a diplomatic resolution with the international community over its contested nuclear program.

The Associated Press

By ROBERT WIELAARD

ImageSTRASBOURG, France (AP) — The European Union said Wednesday that Iran has a few months, at best, to find a diplomatic resolution with the international community over its contested nuclear program.

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, whose country holds the EU presidency, said the international community faces "difficult choices in the next … weeks or months, but not very much longer than that" to force Iran to improve relations by backing off its nuclear program.

His comment to the European Parliament was the EU's first mention of a rough deadline for additional sanctions against Iran, putting the Europeans in synch with Washington.

On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said "the time for action (by Iran) is now. The opportunity will not remain open indefinitely."

Last week, President Barack Obama gave Tehran until September to show progress on scaling back its nuclear ambitions.

The nuclear negotiations with Tehran had stalled even before the Iranian government's crackdown on pro-reform demonstrators in the wake of the June 12 election there. Bildt said the repression and violence of recent weeks have greatly complicated relations with Tehran.

Iran is suspected of pursuing nuclear arms technology by enriching uranium. Tehran says its nuclear ambitions are for peaceful purposes.

The EU is weighing other sanctions — such as withdrawing EU envoys — against the risk of spoiling chances of making headway diplomatically on the disputed nuclear program.

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