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Representatives of the United States and the 4 other permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany met recently in New York to discuss future strategy in the face of Iran's continuing refusal to comply with international mandates concerning its nuclear program.
The group, known as the P5+1, expressed concern over Iran's secretly building a uranium enrichment facility near the city of Qom, "with no credible civilian purpose" and without notifying the International Atomic Energy Agency, the IAEA, "in due time in accordance with its safeguards obligations and in violation" of U.N. Security Council resolutions.
The P5+1 also cited Iran's insufficient cooperation with the IAEA and the Iranian government's failure to respond favorably to an IAEA proposal that would have arranged for Iran to ship a substantial amount of low enriched uranium to be fabricated into fuel assemblies for the Tehran Research Reactor, which produces medical isotopes to meet the medical needs of the Iranian people.
The P5+1 nations reiterated their commitment to a dual track approach to induce Iran to live up to its nuclear obligations. "That implies we continue to seek a negotiated solution," their statement read. "Consideration of the appropriate further measures has begun."
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Philip Crowley called the meeting of the P5+1 in New York "constructive":
"We continue our conversations in terms of options that are available to us, both in terms of the Security Council going forward, but also steps that can be taken in a coordinated way, on a national basis. We are developing options on the pressure track. At the same time, the door is open for further dialogue with Iran, but so far, they haven't been willing to engage us seriously."
The United Nations Security Council has already imposed three sets of economic sanctions on Iran because of its refusal to comply with Security Council demands that it suspend enriching uranium and cooperate fully with the I.A.E.A. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said discussions with international partners over appropriate further measures have as their goal "to pressure the Iranian Government particularly the Revolutionary Guard elements" without contributing to the suffering of ordinary Iranians "who deserve better than what they are currently receiving."