Iran Nuclear News US warns Iran on nuclear program

US warns Iran on nuclear program

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AFP: The United States warned Iran Wednesday not to resume enriching uranium, which could feed a nuclear weapon, but said it was not ready yet to break off Europe-led talks on Tehran’s atomic programs. “We continue to support the negotiations that are being led by our European friends to get Iran to abandon any nuclear ambitions that they have. AFP

WASHINGTON – The United States warned Iran Wednesday not to resume enriching uranium, which could feed a nuclear weapon, but said it was not ready yet to break off Europe-led talks on Tehran’s atomic programs.

“We continue to support the negotiations that are being led by our European friends to get Iran to abandon any nuclear ambitions that they have. We’ll see how those progress,” said White House spokesman Scott McClellan.

“There needs to be an objective guarantee from Iran to make sure that they are not developing nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian program.

That means there needs to be a permanent end to their uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities. We have made that very clear,” he said.

Asked whether the resumption of uranium enrichment would end US support for talks led by Britain, France and Germany, he replied: “I’m not going to play ‘what-ifs,’ but Iran did make a commitment” to freeze such activity.

“They need to abide by that commitment. They also need to abide by their international obligations, which they have violated over the last couple of decades,” said the spokesman.

Senior Iranian officials have recently been quoted as saying that Tehran will soon resume uranium enrichment and will reject any proposal from the European Union that does not recognise the Islamic republic’s right to do so.

The Islamic republic suspended enrichment in October 2003 and widened the freeze last year. However, it has a track record of covering up its activities and shopping illegally on the international black market.

The United States accuses oil-rich Iran of using a civilian nuclear energy program to cover up activities linked to developing atomic weapons. Tehran has rejected the charge and said it has a right to nuclear power.

Britain, France and Germany are trying to convince Iran to completely abandon its enrichment program — which could be diverted to making a bomb — and have promised to come up with the outlines of a long-term accord by the end of July.

“We have a common goal and we have a common strategy, and we are all sending the same message to Iran, and nothing’s changed in terms of our views,” said McClellan.

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