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E.U. And U.S. United On Iran

E.U. And U.S. United On Iran
E.U. And U.S. United On Iran

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The Council of European Union, the EU's main decision-making body, recently approved a statement on Iran expressing "grave concern" over Iran's failure to build confidence that its nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes. The EU Council said that "Iran's persistent failure to meet its international obligations and Iran's apparent lack of interest in pursuing negotiations require a clear response."

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said in a statement that the U.S. "echoes the grave concerns expressed by the European Council." Mr. Gibbs said that the U.S., "alongside our partners, remain[s] committed to working with Iran to find a peaceful diplomatic resolution to the international community's concerns with Iran's nuclear program."

But he noted that Iran has failed to take advantage of "the many opportunities" to begin to build the international community's trust. In particular, he cited Iran's refusal to formally accept the plan proposed by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran ship much of its low-enriched uranium out of the country to be further enriched and made into fuel for Tehran's Research Reactor, in order to make medical isotopes. After initially signaling acceptance of the idea, Iranian leaders have failed to agree to it.

Mr. Gibbs said if Iran continues to fail to bring its nuclear program into full compliance with the requirements of the United Nations Security Council and the IAEA, "There will be consequences, and we will be consulting closely with our partners to ensure those consequences are credible." He stressed that the U.S. and its partners "take appropriate measures in keeping with our common approach to the Iranian regime."

In an interview with Al Jazeera, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton underscored the necessity of a common approach as a key aspect of U.S. foreign policy under President Barack Obama.

"We want to work with others. . .There's not a problem in the world that the United States can solve alone, but I would quickly add there is not a problem in the world that can be solved without the United States." Regarding Iran, Secretary of State Clinton said, "At a certain point, the international community must speak with one voice, and we think that time has come with respect to Iran's nuclear program. . . .The international community still wants to engage with Iran, but people are going to now turn to other routes, like more pressure, like sanctions to try to change their mind and their behavior."