Europe Says Iran Nuke Talks Have Stalled

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Sean
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12 Jan 2006, 5:22 pm

Europe Says Iran Nuke Talks Have Stalled
By GEIR MOULSON, Associated Press Writer
57 minutes ago

BERLIN - The British, French and German foreign ministers said Thursday that negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program had reached a "dead end" and the Islamic republic should be referred to the U.N. Security Council.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said later Thursday that Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, told him that Tehran was interested in "serious and constructive negotiations" with the European countries over its atomic program but it favored a deadline.

"He affirmed to me that they are interested in serious and constructive negotiations but within a timeframe, indicating that the last time they did it for 2 1/2 years and no result," Annan told reporters.

The British, French and German ministers did not specify what action should be taken by the Security Council, which could impose sanctions. However, French diplomats refused to discuss potential options and bristled at the talk of sanctions, saying they were not that stage.

The ministers called for a special session of the International Atomic Energy Agency to decide the referral.

The action came two days after Iran broke U.N. seals at a uranium enrichment plant and said it was resuming nuclear research after a two-year freeze.

Enriched uranium can be used as a fuel for both nuclear energy and nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear program is only for fuel.

In Washington, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, coordinating with European allies, called on the United Nations to confront Iran's "defiance" and demand that Tehran halt its nuclear program. She said she was "gravely concerned" by Iran's secret operations.

Rice declined to say whether the United States has the necessary votes in the Security Council to punish Iran. But she said, "It is very clear that everyone believes a very important threshold has been cleared."

In a joint statement, the diplomats cited Iran's "documented record of concealment and deception" and charged that its government seems "intent on turning its back on better relations with the international community."

"From our point of view, the time has come for the U.N. Security Council to become involved," German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said after meeting with his French and British counterparts and the European Union's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana.

Iranian state radio and television did not initially report the European decision, but later the television broadcast part of the Berlin press conference with comments by the British and German foreign ministers.

"All Iranians are united in pursuing the nuclear program," the newscaster added.

Nuclear proliferation expert Francois Gere, who heads the French Institute of Strategic Analysis, said there are few, if any, viable options for punishing Iran — and the Iranians know that. The French, therefore, are still hoping for a diplomatic way out.

"There is absolutely no discussion of punishment for the moment in the French approach," Gere said.

Oil sanctions would be double-edged and likely would affect oil and gas prices, he said.

The Bush administration, meanwhile, arranged to have Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns go to Britain, France and Germany next week to coordinate strategy. Burns also will hold talks in India, said a senior U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the State Department was not ready to issue a formal statement.

While Burns will be consulting in Europe, Solana plans to be in Washington to coordinate with Bush administration officials.

Steinmeier said the three countries would inform the board "that our talks with Iran have reached a dead end."

Solana said the EU and national governments were left with no choice but to call for Iran's referral. But he would not rule out a new round of negotiations with Tehran.

Steinmeier stressed that the Europeans remain ready to solve the problem "diplomatically, multilaterally and by peaceful means."

Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has vowed to press ahead with a nuclear program that Iran says is designed to produce civilian energy.

"Unfortunately, a group of bullies allows itself to deprive nations of their legal and natural rights," he said Wednesday. "I tell those superpowers that, with strength and prudence, Iran will pave the way to achieving peaceful nuclear energy.

Iran's move increased worries in the United States and other Western countries that Iran intends to produce nuclear weapons, while Russia, a longtime Iran ally, indicated it could reverse its opposition to bringing Tehran before the Security Council, which could impose sanctions.

Russia and China, both members of the IAEA board that would have to approve referring Iran to the Security Council, have previously opposed the idea.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia, the United States, the European Union and China would discuss the issue in London next week.

He told Ekho Moskvy radio that Iran's latest move did not violate international law — but also said Moscow did not exclude the possibility of turning the Iranian dossier over to the Security Council.

"It causes concern that Iran is opting out of its moratorium in the absence of answers to questions, serious questions" from the IAEA, Lavrov said. "Our main task is to persuade Tehran through joint efforts to return to the moratorium."

China on Thursday urged more talks, without saying whether it would back taking Tehran to the Security Council.

China "hopes that all parties concerned can exercise restraint and resolve this within the IAEA framework and through peaceful negotiations," Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said in Beijing. "We firmly believe this serves the interests of all parties concerned."

The Security Council in recent years has moved toward imposing targeted measures — such as arms embargoes against countries and rebel groups, travel bans and asset freezes — that minimally impact the general population. Blanket sanctions imposed on Iraq after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait seriously affected the entire population.

However, enforcement of U.N. sanctions has proven very difficult in many countries.

In the case of Iran, the Security Council likely would increase the pressure gradually, starting with a condemnation and demanding that Iran comply with IAEA decisions. If Iran did not respond positively, Western envoys almost certainly would push for further measures, a code word for sanctions, or at minimum threaten them.



Sean
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12 Jan 2006, 5:26 pm

So Europe is just now figuring this out? :roll: :lol: :P Sending the matter to the UN will be as productive as ever. I'd call them retarded but that would be an insult to retards everywhere. What they should do is refer the matter to President Bush. In 20 minutes, he could accomplish what the UN has failed to do in years! :D :twisted: :wink:



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12 Jan 2006, 5:35 pm

At this rate Iran will get nuclear weapons for sure in the end.


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jimmy
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12 Jan 2006, 6:31 pm

Sean wrote:
So Europe is just now figuring this out? :roll: :lol: :P Sending the matter to the UN will be as productive as ever. I'd call them retarded but that would be an insult to retards everywhere. What they should do is refer the matter to President Bush. In 20 minutes, he could accomplish what the UN has failed to do in years! :D :twisted: :wink:


President Bush and his collegues left the diplomacy to Europe because he (and his colleagues) is too retarded to do diplomacy. Hed just say some texas western cliche like "smoke em out" or something.

Another reason why they have left a lot of this to Europe is because the last thing pro-war Bush wants now is another war as the US are already very stretched out in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere. The US would need to briong back the draft and know that would most probably bring about the end of a Republican government.

I personally dont see them doing anything that the Europeans arent willing to do unless things settle down in Iraq. Personally i think that Iran should not be allowed to develop nuclear but should be compensated generously by the UN for their co-operation by being supplied electricity and the benefits that nuclear would bring them. Of course this will lead to other nations demanding the same but we neednt think that we in the west would hold onto everything forever. Soon is coming a time for adaptation for the west or ww3 imo. I vote for adaptation.



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12 Jan 2006, 9:51 pm

I am definitely of the opinion that Iran's nuclear program ought to be stopped. Any country where the President calls for a sovereign state to be wiped off the map, denies the Holocaust (an act which is considered a crime in the country that carried it out), and proclaims an Islamic equivalent of Khrushchev's "we will bury you" should not be allowed to have access to nuclear weapons. Iran's nuclear program and its President ought to be wiped off the map. I am glad the Europeans are finally getting around to seeing what Iran's mullahs are like, but the major obstacle is not the Europeans, but the Russians and Chinese. I still do not think President Putin has fully grasped the true nature of Islamofascism, despite the Beslan atrocity and his personal friendship with Bush. The Chinese want oil for their fast-growing economy from whoever is willing to supply it, and Iran is willing to do it. What is needed in the end is joint U.S.-Israeli action to take out Iran's nuclear program once and for all, just like what happened with Osirak in Iraq. Of course, Iran's nuclear program is spread out, but this is what needs to be wiped of the map.



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13 Jan 2006, 7:46 pm

Yes because one nuclear weapon with no land based missile technology to deliver it is really deadly.

What the international community is p**** footing around is that they don't want a country with a radical muslim leader to have the capability to manufacture a nuclear bomb which a terrorist organisation can then smuggle into a target country and detonate. I would rather Europe and the US just simply admit that is what the issue is rather then say oh no they can build a nuclear power plant but have to import the fuel from russia if thats ok?

Lets remind ourselves of something here....Pakistan has nuclear weapons AND ballastic missiles and happens to be a muslim country. There are also all the 2nd hand soviet era nuclear weapons which disappeared from the stockpile during Yeltsin's premiership that are still unaccounted for so its not like there the only source for potential nuclear weapons in the hands of a terrorist.

At the end of the day for security reasons I can see why this country potentialy wants to have a nuclear weapon. To the west is Iraq Occupied by US and UK forces to the east is Afghanistan occupied by US and NATO forces and nearby is Israel with nuclear weapons, Pakistan with nuclear weapons, Russia with nuclear weapons, India with nuclear weapons. Bearing in mind this current government is in office at the moment as a reaction to world events and the threats now present on its border. It should also be remembered that this country remembers previous republican governments in the US who supported its enemies in war with weaponry and equipment, namely weapons of mass destruction used on Iranian civilians



kevv729
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13 Jan 2006, 9:16 pm

Iran does got some North Korean missile weapon systems and technology if not also from China too. So when and if they get nuclear weapons they will be able to launch to Israel.


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Laz
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14 Jan 2006, 5:23 pm

And face absolute annihilation in the process



kevv729
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14 Jan 2006, 8:14 pm

Laz wrote:
And face absolute annihilation in the process
By which nuclear power in the end is going to annihilate them, there is some many in the area in the end.


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Klytus
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14 Jan 2006, 8:49 pm

Laz wrote:
Yes because one nuclear weapon with no land based missile technology to deliver it is really deadly.


There's no need to be sarcastic. Maybe we're not all intimately familiar with foreign countries' exact weapons inventories - I'm certainly not - but we can still oppose their developing of a nuclear weapon (or weapons, plural). Because a country's lack of land-based missile technology is a pretty poor excuse for letting them develop nukes.

Is that what you are saying? That Iran has no land-based missile technology? I don't know if you're right or wrong, but where did you get your information from?

Laz wrote:
What the international community is p**** footing around is that they don't want a country with a radical muslim leader to have the capability to manufacture a nuclear bomb which a terrorist organisation can then smuggle into a target country and detonate.


That's a valid concern, surely. And I agree, the international community is pussy-footing around, and I think they should do something about the situation.
Iran is one of the nearly 190 countries to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty promising never to develop nuclear weapons. If any one of these countries started developing nuclear weapons, the international community would be perfectly justified in stopping them.
The fact that the President of Iran is a nutter who has publicly spoken of his wish to see another country wiped from the map should add to the international community's concerns. Who needs terrorists?

Laz wrote:
Lets remind ourselves of something here....Pakistan has nuclear weapons AND ballastic missiles and happens to be a muslim country.


So? Are you saying that just because one Muslim country has nuclear weapons we should then allow all Muslim countries to have weapons.
Pakistan never signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (neither did India nor Israel) so there's not much the international community can do about it.
Thankfully, the President of Pakistan does not seem to be some Islamofascist hellbent on world domination, even if he is a dictator.

Laz wrote:
Bearing in mind this current government is in office at the moment as a reaction to world events and the threats now present on its border.


Are you sure? I'd heard that Iranian politics was becoming more hardline as a backlash against the strides made by reformists in previous years.
Either way, Iran's President hasn't been democratically elected. All Presidential candidates in Iran have to be approved by the council of clerics who hold the real power.