AFP: Gabon will "work closely" with the United States and others to pressure Iran to comply with UN demands over its nuclear program, Gabonese President Ali Bongo said Monday. WASHINGTON (AFP) — Gabon will "work closely" with the United States and others to pressure Iran to comply with UN demands over its nuclear program, Gabonese President Ali Bongo said Monday.
"We feel that it's for the authorities in Iran to demonstrate that they're willing to go along with what the international community demands," Bongo, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council this month, said during a US visit.
"It's not for us to reassure, it's for them to reassure all of us, especially the neighbors of Iran," Bongo told a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
"The neighbors of Iran have the right to live peacefully. We are going to work closely (with the United States and permanent council members) because our aim is not just to punish, our aim is to help assist," Bongo said.
"And we want to do that, but it has to be the same will on both sides," Bongo added.
Clinton said she told Bongo about the "serious questions" the United States has about Iran and how it is working with its international partners to draft new measures "to pressure Iran to change its course."
Having all but abandoned hope of engaging diplomatically with Iran, the United States is pushing for tougher Security Council sanctions in talks with Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany.
Among the six powers, all but Germany are permanent veto-wielding security council members.
"The best way to send Iran a clear and unified message is for the international community to speak with one voice and respond with additional measures through a new Security Council resolution," Clinton said.
During a visit to Argentina on March 1, she said it could take months for new UN sanctions against Iran, apparently backing away from her earlier contention that a new resolution could be obtained in the "next 30 to 60 days."
The United States charges that there is growing evidence that Iran is using its uranium enrichment program to build an atomic bomb. Iran denies the charge, saying the program is for peaceful nuclear energy.