Iran Nuclear NewsBush, Putin concerned Iran has not responded

Bush, Putin concerned Iran has not responded


Reuters: President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who differ on whether to impose U.N. sanctions on Iran, expressed concern on Monday that Tehran had not responded to an incentives offer. ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) – President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who differ on whether to impose U.N. sanctions on Iran, expressed concern on Monday that Tehran had not responded to an incentives offer.

The two leaders made a show of unity in a joint statement declaring their intention to try to limit the proliferation of nuclear weapons, including in the cases of Iran and North Korea.

“We are especially concerned by the failure of the Iranian government to engage seriously on the proposals” made by the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany, Bush and Putin said.

Iran has refused to respond to an offer made in early June of economic incentives, prompting Washington to refer the case to the U.N. Security Council.

Tehran says its nuclear work is for civilian purposes only but for reasons of national pride it will not stop spinning the centrifuges that are enriching uranium into nuclear fuel.

While Britain, France, the United States and Germany support economic sanctions if Iran fails to cooperate, such measures are not currently backed by Security Council veto-wielding Russia and China.

Putin, at a joint news conference with Bush on Saturday, did not address the question of sanctions but repeated Moscow’s position that nuclear proliferation, particularly in the Middle East, was not in its national interest.

In their statement, Bush and Putin also said they were seriously concerned by North Korea’s recent missile launches and called on Pyongyang to return to six-party talks on its nuclear weapons program.

“The United States and the Russian Federation are actively working for unity among the U.N. Security Council members on these sensitive issues,” the statement said.

The U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on Saturday imposing weapons-related sanctions on North Korea and condemning Pyongang’s flurry of missile tests on July 5.

A G8 statement on non-proliferation issued late on Sunday hailed the resolution and condemned the missile launches. On Iran, it said members remained seriously concerned over the implications of Tehran’s “advanced nuclear program”.

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