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Bolton: Unanimity Not Necessary on Iran

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/08/31/D8JRHDPG0.html Bolton: Unanimity Not Necessary on Iran Aug 31 1:05 PM US/Eastern By GEORGE JAHN Associated Press
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 31, 2006

      Bolton: Unanimity Not Necessary on Iran
      Aug 31 1:05 PM US/Eastern

      Associated Press Writer

      VIENNA, Austria

      Iran remained defiant Thursday as a U.N. deadline
      arrived for it to halt uranium enrichment, and the
      U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said unanimity
      among the Security Council was not needed to take
      action against Tehran.

      Key European nations will meet with Iran in September
      in a last-ditch effort to seek a negotiated solution
      to the standoff over Tehran's refusal to freeze
      uranium enrichment, a senior U.N. diplomat said

      President Bush said "there must be consequences" for
      Iran, adding that the war between Tehran-backed
      Hezbollah militants and Israel demonstrated that "the
      world now faces a grave threat from the radical regime
      in Iran."

      The U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic
      Energy Agency, said in a report obtained by The
      Associated Press that Iran shows no signs of freezing
      enrichment, adding that Tehran started work on a new
      batch Aug. 24.

      The confidential IAEA report will be given to its
      35-nation board. That is expected to trigger U.N.
      Security Council members _ by mid- September _ to
      begin considering economic or political sanctions.

      Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a crowd of
      thousands in the northwestern city of Orumiyeh that
      "the Iranian nation will not accept for one moment any
      bullying, invasion and violation of its rights."

      He also said enemies of the country were trying to
      stir up differences among the Iranian people, but "I
      tell them: you are wrong. The Iranian nation is

      "They claim to be supporting freedom but they support
      the most tyrannical governments in the world to pursue
      their own interests," he said, referring to the United
      States. "They talk about human rights while
      maintaining the most notorious prisons. Those powers
      that do not abide by God and follow evil are the main
      source of all the current problems of mankind."

      German Chancellor Angela Merkel said an Iranian
      refusal to freeze uranium enrichment by the deadline
      would be "very regrettable," and the international
      community would be unable to ignore it.

      "We have made Iran a very, very good offer," she
      during a visit to the Baltic Sea port of Warnemuende,
      alluding to a package of incentives aimed at
      persuading Tehran to curb its nuclear activities.

      If Iran does not accept, "we will not slam the door
      shut, but we cannot act as if nothing had happened,"
      Merkel said, adding that the next step would have to
      be discussed, but gave no details.

      The State Department has not said publicly what type
      of punishment it might seek. But U.S. and European
      officials have indicated they might push for travel
      restrictions on Iranian officials or a ban on sale of
      dual-use technology to Iran. The hope is to start with
      relatively low- level punishments in a bid to attract
      Russian and Chinese support, the officials have said.

      More extreme sanctions could include a freeze on
      Iranian assets or a broader trade ban _ although
      opposition to that by Russia, China and perhaps others
      would be strong, particularly since it could cut off
      badly needed oil exports from Iran.

      Russia and China, which have traditional economic and
      strategic ties with Tehran, seem likely to resist
      U.S.-led efforts for a quick response, which means
      sanctions do not loom immediately. That has prompted
      the Bush administration to consider rallying its
      allies to impose sanctions or financial restrictions
      of their own, independent of the Security Council.

      Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi
      shrugged off the possibility of sanctions, telling
      state-run television that Iran "will find a way to
      avoid pressure eventually."

      The deadline was widely reported on the front pages of
      major Iranian newspapers. The daily Aftab said the
      showdown offers "the enemies" a chance to ratchet up
      pressure on Iran. Another newspaper, Kargozaran,
      expressed doubt that the U.S. would muster enough
      support within the Security Council for punitive

      It's not clear when exactly Thursday's deadline will
      run out. The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations,
      John Bolton, said he believed it would end at 12:01
      a.m. Friday in Tehran _ or 3:31 p.m. Thursday at the
      Security Council in New York.

      But diplomats said the exact timing was not
      particularly relevant for two reasons: They believe
      Iran already has given its answer; and they would
      almost certainly abandon their sanctions threat if
      Iran decides to suspend enrichment after the deadline.

      On Wednesday, Ahmadinejad urged European members of
      the council against resorting to sanctions, saying
      punishment would not dissuade his country. Another top
      Iranian official urged Japan on Thursday to help
      peacefully resolve the standoff without sanctions.

      Abbas Araghchi, deputy minister for legal and
      international affairs of the Iranian Foreign Ministry,
      met with Japan's foreign minister in a clear sign of
      Iran's continued efforts to lobby countries worldwide
      against support for sanctions.

      "We are confident of the peaceful nature of our
      program. So if there is also goodwill and sincerity in
      the other side, we are sure that we can reach a good
      solution, a good conclusion through negotiations,"
      Araghchi said.

      Tehran insists it wants to enrich uranium as fuel
      solely for civilian nuclear power stations. However,
      the U.S. and other Western countries suspect it wants
      to use it in nuclear warheads.
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