Tuesday, May 15, 2012

UK threatens Iran with wider sanctions

British Foreign Secretary William Hague

Source: Press TV

Ahead of an upcoming round of talks between Iran and the P5+1, British Foreign Secretary William Hague has threatened Tehran with wider sanctions if the Islamic Republic fails to take “concrete steps” regarding its nuclear energy program.

"Now we wait to see some concrete steps and proposals from Iran," Hague said on Monday before a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.

"Without that, of course we have sanctions we have imposed. They will not only be enforced but, over time, intensified," he added.

The US and EU have imposed financial and oil sanctions against Iran since the beginning of 2012, claiming that the country’s nuclear energy program includes a military component.

Iran argues that as a signatory to the Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has every right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

The remarks by Hague came despite a warning by Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili on March 13 that any miscalculation by the West in its upcoming talks with Tehran will thwart the success of the negotiations.

The Islamic Republic has repeatedly declared that it has no intention of developing nuclear weapons and that those world powers in possession of such arms have to undergo nuclear disarmament.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei issued a fatwa (religious decree) on February 22, announcing that the pursuit and possession of nuclear weapons is “a grave sin” from every logical, religious and theoretical standpoint.

Furthermore, all of Iran's nuclear sites are under the surveillance of the IAEA and the agency has never found evidence of diversion in the country’s civilian nuclear program in its numerous inspections of the Iranian sites.

Iran and the P5+1 (Britain, France, Russia, China and the United States plus Germany) held the first round of their latest negotiations on April 14 in the Turkish city of Istanbul. The next round of the talks will be held on May 23 in Baghdad.

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