Bloomberg: President Barack Obama said Iran is “breaking rules” by secretly building a nuclear fuel plant that is “inconsistent with a peaceful nuclear program.” By Catherine Dodge and Roger Runningen
Sept. 25 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama said Iran is “breaking rules” by secretly building a nuclear fuel plant that is “inconsistent with a peaceful nuclear program.”
Obama, joined by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, demanded Iran submit to international demands that it halt uranium enrichment or face new sanctions.
“It is time for Iran to act immediately to restore the confidence of the international community by fulfilling its international obligations,” Obama said today at the Group of 20 economic summit in Pittsburgh.
The U.S., U.K. and France were given “detailed evidence” that Iran has been building a “covert uranium facility” for several years, Obama said. The United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement that it received a letter from Iran on Sept. 21 saying that a new pilot fuel- enrichment plant is under construction.
“The international community has no choice today but to draw a line in the sand,” Brown said. “We are prepared to implement further and more stringent sanctions.”
‘Shock and Anger’
Brown said “the level of deception by the Iranian government, and the scale of what we believe is the breach of international commitments, will shock and anger the entire international community.”
Sarkozy said “sanctions will have to be taken” if Iran fails to make “in-depth change” by December. “Everything must be put on the table now,” he said. “We cannot let the Iranian leaders gain time while the motors are running.”
Obama met with the leaders of China and Russia at the UN meetings in New York this week, trying to persuading them to join U.S. and European government in stepping up the threat of sanctions against Iran.
The president told Hu Jintao of China and Dmitri Medvedev of Russia that Iran can’t be allowed to flout international rules requiring the disclosure of nuclear activities. Obama talked about the covert Iranian facility with Medvedev.
The Russian president, who has expressed public doubts about the value of sanctions, indicated that he is open to enforcing penalties on Iran.
“When all instruments have been used and failed, one can use international legal sanctions,” Medvedev said during a question-and-answer session with students at the University of Pittsburgh, according to a transcript.
He said nations should promote “positive incentives for Iran” in winning compliance. “Should we fail in that case, we’ll consider other options,” Medvedev said.