Iranian authorities say Iran will not suspend its uranium-enrichment activities, which could give Iran the capability to produce material for nuclear weapons. A suspension of its uranium-enrichment program was called for in a package of incentives offered to Iran by Germany and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council – China, Russia, the United States, France and Britain – in June 2006.
After waiting six weeks for an official Iranian response and having received no indication that Iran intended to negotiate in good faith, those six nations agreed to reconsider the issue of Iran's nuclear program at the U.N. Security Council. John Bolton is the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations:
"Iran has been very good over the past three years or four years in throwing sand in the eyes of people trying to deal with their long-term pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability. Right now in the Security Council, we're trying to carry out the decision of the foreign ministers of the five permanent members of the Council to impose on Iran a mandatory requirement that they suspend their uranium-enrichment activities."
The U.N. Security Council has the power to impose sanctions on Iran. Mr. Bolton says countries can enforce sanctions against Iran outside the auspices of the U.N. Security Council, as well.
"We [in the Security Council] are looking now at targeted sanctions that would go after financial transactions, the Iranian weapons program and others. But. . . .sanctions won't only take place through the Security Council. There are various kinds of financial measures that we can and have been applying more robustly to pressure the Iranian government to give up this nuclear weapons program."
Many countries are worried about the prospect of a nuclear weapon-armed Iran, particularly in light of the clerical regime's support for terrorism. President George W. Bush says, "Iran, armed with a nuclear weapon, poses a grave threat to the security of the world."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.