AFP: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice vowed Friday to pursue UN sanctions against Iran and keep pressure on the Islamic republic to suspend uranium enrichment. BRUSSELS (AFP) US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice vowed Friday to pursue UN sanctions against Iran and keep pressure on the Islamic republic to suspend uranium enrichment.
“We’re going to continue on the UN Security Council track,” Rice told reporters after talks with her NATO counterparts and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Rice said the military alliance had “talked again about the UN Security Council track, the need to use that track to try to stimulate the Iranian regime to take the negotiating track that is available to them.”
“We are going to continue our work on the security council resolution, indeed our political level officials are going to meet sometime this week,” she said.
“We very much hope that Iran will choose to suspend its enrichment and reprocessing activities,” Rice said.
Iran is already labouring under two sets of sanctions over its nuclear programme, which Tehran says is for civilian purposes but Western powers believe may be screening efforts to build an atomic bomb.
But a US intelligence assessment, released Monday, indicated that Iran might have given up its nuclear weapons programme four years ago, which has cooled China and Russia on any move to slap on more sanctions.
However the report also said that this halt was probably due to international pressure, including sanctions and a package of economic and political incentives being offered to Iran to suspend uranium enrichment.
Enrichment is a process used to fuel an atomic reactor, but at highly refined levels it can be used to build a bomb.