Friday, September 16, 2005

Latest reports on Iran's nuclear crisis

Reuters-Bush confident Iran will be referred to UN Security Council:

President George W. Bush said on Friday he was confident Iran would be referred to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions if necessary over its nuclear program, while Russian President Vladimir Putin said he wanted to make sure diplomacy was exhausted.

Ahead of a key meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency's board of governors next week, Washington and the European Union have sought support for a possible referral of Iran to the Security Council for breaching its nonproliferation obligations.

Russia is among several countries that are cool to that idea. Bush acknowledged after a meeting with Putin at the White House that the effort could require more diplomacy.

"I am confident that the world will see to it that Iran goes to the U.N. Security Council if it does not live up to its agreements. And when that referral will happen is a matter of diplomacy," Bush told a joint news conference.

Both leaders emphasized that they shared a goal of preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

But Putin, who met with Iran's new president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday on the sidelines of the United Nations summit in New York, suggested there was more room for negotiation with Tehran.

"Of course, we are against the fact that Iran would become a nuclear power, and will continue to do so in the future under any circumstances," Putin said. "Now, as regards as to how we can control this situation, there are many ways and means to do so."

In other news:

The European Union will press next week for Iran's nuclear program to be reported to the U.N. Security Council barring an unexpected change of heart by its president on Saturday, an EU diplomat said.

Foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany heard nothing in talks with Iranian leaders on Thursday to suggest there was a basis for resuming negotiations with Tehran on EU offers of economic, security and nuclear cooperation, he said on Friday.

The Iranians seemed determined to pursue their program of uranium enrichment, which Western governments believe is aimed at developing nuclear weapons, the diplomat, who participated in the talks, said.

NEW YORK: There is no difference in objectives between India and the United States vis-a-vis Iran even if the two sides differ on tactics, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Friday, allaying concern that the issue may scupper
growing Indo-US ties.