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Rice And Solana On Iran Nukes


Backed by the United States, the European Union has called for an emergency meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency. They want the I-A-E-A to report the issue of Iran's nuclear program to the United Nations Security Council.

Earlier this month, Iran broke a two-year-old agreement with Germany, France, and Britain and resumed uranium enrichment-related activities. Enriched uranium can be used to produce either electricity or nuclear bombs. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that the United States and Europe stand together in their determination to see that Iran's clerical regime does not develop nuclear weapons:

"The E-U has made it quite clear that the Iranians have crossed an important threshold, that it is now important for the I-A-E-A Board of Governors to act, so that Iran knows that the international community will not tolerate its continued acting with impunity against the interests of the international community. Iran must not be allowed to get a nuclear weapon. It must not be allowed to pursue activities that might lead to a nuclear weapon and on that we are fully united."

Secretary of State Rice said an offer by the Iranian government to resume negotiations with the European Union lacks sincerity:

"It is up to the Iranians to demonstrate that they're not just talking, that they're serious… It is the Iranians who walked away from the negotiations, who broke the moratorium, and as that condition [still] exists, I am sensing from the Europeans that there is not much to talk about."

Javier Solana, foreign policy chief of the European Union, agreed that the E-U is not interested in talking with the Iranians if "there's nothing new…on the table." The way forward now, he said, was to have "an extraordinary meeting [in] Vienna of the [International Atomic Energy] Agency and then to refer the dossier to the [U.N.] Security Council."

Secretary of State Rice said that Iran's rulers want to turn the question of Iran's secret nuclear activities into a question of rights. "This is not about rights. It is about the ability of the international system to trust them with the capabilities and technologies that could lead to a nuclear weapon," Ms. Rice said. "They have a history with I-A-E-A of not disclosing, with covering [up] their activities, and so no one does trust them with those technologies."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.

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