Reuters: The United Nations Security Council must be ready to take action on Iran over any failure to comply with international demands to curb its nuclear ambitions, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Thursday.
SOFIA (Reuters) – The United Nations Security Council must be ready to take action on Iran over any failure to comply with international demands to curb its nuclear ambitions, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Thursday.
Speaking at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Sofia, Rice said it was “highly unlikely” Tehran would comply with international demands that it suspend uranium enrichment.
“It goes without saying that the United States believes that, in order to be credible, the U.N. Security Council, of course, has to act,” Rice told a news conference before a session of talks in which NATO allies were due to discuss possible steps.
Speaking later at the same meeting, French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy told reporters that permanent U.N. Security Council member France backed “a rapid and firm signal” to Tehran if it continued to ramp up its nuclear activities.
Earlier on Thursday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a rally in northwest Iran that the country would pursue uranium enrichment in defiance of outside pressure.
Mohamed ElBaradei, chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, is widely expected to tell the security council and the agency’s board on Friday that Iran has not stopped purifying uranium or fully answered IAEA queries from a month ago.
Rice also said: “I look forward to discussing this with my colleagues and to I and others making that case, and I would certainly hope the security council is prepared to take some action.”
“It cannot have its word and its will simply ignored by a (U.N.) member state.”
The West accuses Iran of seeking nuclear weapons under cover of a civilian program. Tehran denies the charge. It said this month it had processed uranium to the level used in power stations for the first time and planned large-scale enrichment.