Reuters: The United States is poised to seek U.N. Security Council action to heap pressure on Iran for refusing to negotiate in good faith over its nuclear ambitions, President George W. Bush said on Tuesday. By Tabassum Zakaria
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is poised to seek U.N. Security Council action to heap pressure on Iran for refusing to negotiate in good faith over its nuclear ambitions, President George W. Bush said on Tuesday.
Washington wants to resolve the nuclear stand-off peacefully, Bush said, as U.N. Security Council powers prepared to meet on Wednesday to produce a joint strategy to persuade Iran to stop enriching uranium.
“Obviously we’d like to solve this issue peacefully and diplomatically, and the more the Iranians refuse to negotiate in good faith the more countries are beginning to realize that we must continue to work together,” Bush told a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
He cited Tehran’s rejection of a proposal in which other countries would provide fuel so that Iran could generate civilian nuclear power, and then pick up the spent fuel.
“I’m not so sure these people really do want a solution. And therefore let us make sure that we’re willing to be working together in the U.N. Security Council,” Bush said. “We’re on the cusp of going to the Security Council.”
Russia and China, permanent members of the Security Council, have so far been reluctant to impose stronger measures, such as sanctions, on Iran if it fails to curb its nuclear activities, which Western powers believe are a cover for developing atomic weapons.
Tehran maintains it’s nuclear program is only for civilian power generation.
“We’re spending a lot of time working with our Russian friends in particular to make it clear to them that Iran is showing no good faith,” said Bush.
At Wednesday’s meeting in London, officials from the United States, China, Russia, Britain and France — permanent members of the Security Council — as well as Germany, will discuss incentives and threats aimed at encouraging Iran to halt uranium enrichment, which can be used for nuclear weapons.
(Additional reporting by Caren Bohan)