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Iran's Nuclear Issue Still Alive

Iran's Nuclear Issue Still Alive
Iran's Nuclear Issue Still Alive

Many nations are trying to convince Iran to comply with the demands of the United Nations Security Council and suspend work on technologies that can be used to make nuclear weapons. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad falsely declared that "the nuclear issue of Iran is now closed."

In fact, the issue remains very much alive. In June 2006, the United States joined with Britain, France, China, Russia, and Germany to offer Iran a package of economic and other incentives if it suspended its uranium enrichment- related and reprocessing activities. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said at the time that she would join in negotiations with Iranian representatives on a range of issues if Iran agreed to the suspension.

U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey said that offer remains on the table:

"There has been an opportunity there for Iran, over many, many months, to achieve everything that they say they want -- which is a peaceful civilian nuclear program -- through negotiations with the international community. And all that's required is for them to cease their current activities and to work with the international community through negotiations to ensure that we can all understand that their nuclear activities aren't, in fact, designed as a cover for a nuclear weapon."

U.N. sanctions have already been imposed on Iran in response to its failure to suspend. Mr. Casey says Iran will face further adverse consequences if it fails to heed the demands of the U.N. Security Council and suspend these activities:

"Continued sanctions through the U.N. Security Council, continued sanctions through the U.S., continued sanctions through a number of European countries, including perhaps the European Union, continued suspicion on the part of private investors, and continued reluctance on the part of private investors to engage in business in Iran. All of which is contrary to the interests of the Iranian people."

U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns says that Iranian President Ahmadinejad "is badly mistaken if he thinks the international community is going to forget about the fact that [Iran] is continuing, against the will of the United Nations Security Council, its nuclear research programs at Natanz for enrichment and reprocessing."