Iran Nuclear NewsBritain, US and France push for timetable to make...

Britain, US and France push for timetable to make Iran reveal atom secrets

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Daily Telegraph: Britain, America and France were pushing last night for Iran to be given a quick timetable to come clean about its nuclear programme or face “targeted” United Nations sanctions.
The Daily Telegraph

By Anton La Guardia in Vienna

Britain, America and France were pushing last night for Iran to be given a quick timetable to come clean about its nuclear programme or face “targeted” United Nations sanctions.

Western countries have long sought to reassure sceptics that they only want a “gradual” process of building up pressure on Teheran to co-operate fully with nuclear inspectors. But at a meeting last night with Russia and China, the three western members of the UN Security Council were pushing for Iran to be given just a few weeks to comply.

As President George W. Bush said Iran posed a “grave national security concern”, the five permanent Security Council members discussed a joint British-French draft “presidential statement”, telling international nuclear inspectors to report within 14 days on Iran’s co-operation. British officials have said they could accept a 30-day deadline. But one senior western source said: “We are eager to move forward. This is a matter of weeks, not months. “

If Iran does not comply with this political exhortation, the next step would be a formal resolution making full co-operation mandatory and strengthening the powers of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

This could be followed by “targeted sanctions” if Teheran still refuses to co-operate.

America and European countries are playing down talk of sanctions, for fear of alienating Russia, China and developing countries.

Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, hoped a diplomatic solution would be found, and would not discuss sanctions.

Teheran has so far responded defiantly to the moves, with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad saying Iran would not be “bullied”.

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