Iran’s nuclear program must be stopped at all costs: Asselborn

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AFP: The world community must “do everything” to stop Iran from one day gaining access to nuclear weapons, Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, whose country currently
holds the EU presidency, said on Wednesday. “Everything must be done to avoid having a new country in this very precarious region of the world acquiring a nuclear bomb,” Asselborn told reporters on the sidelines of a Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council Security Forum meeting in the central Swedish town of Aare. AFP

AARE, Sweden – The world community must “do everything” to stop Iran from one day gaining access to nuclear weapons, Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, whose country currently holds the EU presidency, said on Wednesday.

“Everything must be done to avoid having a new country in this very precarious region of the world acquiring a nuclear bomb,” Asselborn told reporters on the sidelines of a Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council Security Forum meeting in the central Swedish town of Aare.

His comments came on the same day as the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany were to meet with Iran’s top negotiator Hassan Rowhani in Geneva for crucial talks aimed at avoiding an escalation of Tehran’s standoff with the West over its nuclear program.

Iran has described those talks as a “last-ditch meeting” to avoid referring Iran to the UN Security Council — and into Washington’s diplomatic line of fire — if the talks fail.

“We really want to cooperate with Iran,” Asselborn said, insisting however that if Tehran violates accords signed in Paris last November, “it is obvious that this will have consequences”.

After the Paris talks, Iran agreed to suspend “temporarily” its uranium enrichment activities in exchange for talks with the European Union on nuclear, technological and commercial cooperation.

The EU’s position, Asselborn pointed out, is that “if the Iranians resume their uranium enrichment there will be a conflict with what was decided in Paris”.

“In such a situation it is obvious that there would be consequences, one of which could be a total halt on all discussions on cooperation and political dialogue,” he said.

“Today is very important and I believe that even in the current election period in Iran they should have understood this,” Asselborn added.

Everything must be done “to ensure that the dialogue succeeds. That is our mission. I think that in Geneva today… everything will be done to explain this point yet again,” he said, providing no details on what sanctions might face Iran if the talks fail.