AFP: German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Monday that world powers would have no choice but to take Iran to the UN Security Council if Tehran does not agree to rein in its nuclear program. BERLIN, Sept 4, 2006 (AFP) – German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Monday that world powers would have no choice but to take Iran to the UN Security Council if Tehran does not agree to rein in its nuclear program.
Steinmeier told a conference of German ambassadors in Berlin that a failure by the Islamic republic to comply with UN demands to halt uranium enrichment would make “going to the UN Security Council unavoidable”.
He indicated he was “skeptical” a meeting between EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and top Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani planned in Europe this week would produce a breakthrough in the standoff.
The two officials are to meet in Europe for talks over Iran’s response to an offer of incentives from the five UN Security Council permanent members plus Germany, aimed at making Tehran halt uranium enrichment.
French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy, a guest at the conference, said that the international community must “combine dialogue with resolve to avoid a confrontation”.
With an eye to China and Russia which have shown reluctance to slap Iran with sanctions if it continues to defy UN demands, Douste-Blazy said the veto-wielding council members and Germany must resist efforts to drive a wedge between them.
Iran has defied Western demands to suspend uranium enrichment, a process that can be used to make nuclear fuel and, in highly extended form, the core of an atomic bomb.
Iran’s decision to ignore a UN deadline to halt enrichment, which expired Thursday, has left Tehran facing a push by the United States for the Security Council to impose sanctions.
High-ranking officials from the five permanent members of the council plus Germany are to meet in Berlin this week to discuss the crisis, a German government spokesman said Monday.