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Bolton compares Iran situation to 9/11 attacks

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/03/16/bolton.reut/index.html?eref=yahoo Bolton compares Iran situation to 9/11 attacks U.N. ambassador to testify Thursday on
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 16, 2006
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      http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/03/16/bolton.reut/index.html?eref=yahoo

      Bolton compares Iran situation to 9/11 attacks
      U.N. ambassador to testify Thursday on Capitol Hill

      Thursday, March 16, 2006; Posted: 10:24 a.m. EST
      (15:24 GMT)

      UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) -- United Nations
      negotiations about Iran's nuclear program shift to the
      full Security Council on Thursday, after the U.S.
      ambassador to the U.N. said Iran posed a threat
      comparable to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

      "Just like September 11, only with nuclear weapons
      this time, that's the threat. I think that is the
      threat," ambassador John Bolton told ABC News'
      Nightline program.

      "I think it's just facing reality. It's not a happy
      reality, but it's reality and if you don't deal with
      it, it will become even more unpleasant."

      Bolton had been scheduled to testify Thursday before
      the House International Relations Committee, but his
      appearance was canceled.

      Iran has said its nuclear activities are for civilian
      purposes -- the development of nuclear energy. But
      U.S. and other Western leaders have expressed concerns
      that Tehran is trying to develop nuclear weapons.

      The five veto-holding members of the U.N. Security
      Council have failed to reach agreement so far on how
      to deal with Iran's nuclear program after a fifth
      round of negotiations. All 15 of its members are to
      meet Thursday for a second time to discuss a draft
      statement drawn up by France and Britain.

      Russia and China are resisting proposals from Britain,
      France and the United States for a council statement
      that would express "serious concern" about Iran's
      nuclear program and asks it to comply with demands
      from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
      The statement does not threaten sanctions.

      At the same time foreign ministry officials from the
      five powers and Germany are considering meeting in New
      York on Monday to review strategy, diplomats said.
      Russia had previously proposed such talks in Vienna,
      seat of the IAEA.

      China's U.N. ambassador, Wang Guangya, said his
      country and Russia still had problems with a proposal
      that the IAEA be asked to report to the Security
      Council within 14 days on any progress Iran has made
      toward meeting the U.N. nuclear watchdog's demands.

      Russia and China view the reporting requirement as
      shifting the focus of the Iran dossier from the IAEA
      to the Security Council, which has the power to impose
      sanctions. They would like any report on Iran's
      compliance to go directly to the 35-nation IAEA
      governing board.

      "We are still discussing," Wang told Reuters after the
      hour-long session at the U.S. Mission to the United
      Nations, adding that he did not consider the talks
      deadlocked.

      The draft statement also calls on Iran "to
      re-establish full and sustained suspension of all
      enrichment-related and reprocessing activities,
      including research and development" that the IAEA
      would verify.

      It asks Iran to reconsider building a heavy-water
      nuclear reactor in Arak, which is more suitable for
      producing fuel for nuclear weapons than a light-water
      reactor.

      A council statement needs to be approved by all 15
      members, while a resolution requires nine votes in
      favor and no veto from any of the permanent members.
      If the impasse continues, the West could try to force
      Russia and China into the uncomfortable position of
      having to consider a resolution.

      "Whether it is a statement or a resolution we haven't
      decided," Bolton said.

      "We're trying to hold the permanent five together
      first but reality is reality and time is an important
      factor, given that the Iranians continue to progress
      toward overcoming their technological difficulties in
      enriching uranium."

      The 10 nonpermanent members of the Security Council,
      which rotate for two-year terms, are: Argentina,
      Denmark, Greece, Japan, Tanzania, Congo Republic,
      Ghana, Peru, Qatar and Slovakia.
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