Iran Nuclear NewsItaly urges 'firmness' in dealing with Iran

Italy urges ‘firmness’ in dealing with Iran

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PARIS, Jan 13, 2006 (AFP) – Iran should be dealt with firmly by a united international community, Italian Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini said Friday amid heightened tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program. PARIS, Jan 13, 2006 (AFP) – Iran should be dealt with firmly by a united international community, Italian Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini said Friday amid heightened tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program.

“The international community must react with a great deal of firmness and unity,” Fini said on Italian public television.

Earlier Friday Tehran threatened to withhold cooperation with the UN atomic watchdog if its controversial nuclear program is referred to the Security Council, as the European Union and the United States now want to do.

“The European Union, United States, Russia and China must take a united stance, since Tehran is counting on the international community being incapable of agreeing to merge its viewpoints and thus to find agreement,” he said.

Tehran on Tuesday resumed sensitive nuclear research linked to uranium enrichment, which produces fuel for nuclear power reactors but can also be used to make atomic bombs.

Britain, France and Germany, the EU’s biggest powers, responded by calling for an emergency meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to refer Iran to the UN Security Council, which could impose sanctions.

UN chief Kofi Annan said Iran was still keen on pursuing nuclear talks with European powers.

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