No ‘serious response’ from Iran without sanctions: US

WASHINGTON - The United States doubts Iran will provide any “serious response” to concerns about its nuclear program until the United Nations moves on sanctions, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday.

By (AFP)

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Published: Sat 15 May 2010, 9:42 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 7:58 AM

“I believe we will not get any serious response out of the Iranians until after the Security Council acts,” the top US diplomat said during a press conference with Britain’s new Foreign Secretary William Hague.

The United States is working to craft consensus on a new round of UN sanctions to punish Iran for its failure to halt uranium production under its nuclear program, which the West fears masks a drive for weapons of mass destruction.

China, one of the five permanent veto-wielding members of the UN Security Council, has been the main holdout to new sanctions on the 15-member council, along with current but non-permanent members Brazil, Turkey and Lebanon.

Russia — a permanent member like the United States, Britain and France — has over the last few months expressed greater openness to sanctions.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is due to visit Tehran on Sunday as part of his diplomatic efforts to avert UN sanctions against Iran, met with a skeptical Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Friday.

Medvedev gave Lula little chance of success in the nuclear talks with Iran, warning the meeting could be the last chance before sanctions — an echo of the view given Thursday by a senior US State Department official.

Clinton said the Medvedev-Lula meeting “illustrated the hill that the Brazilians are attempting to climb.”

The chief US diplomat last spoke to Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim on Tuesday, Clinton’s spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters without giving details.

Hague later said that Britain agreed with Clinton that one “shouldn’t expect any movement from Iran until” the council acts.

Hague’s party fully supported President Barack Obama’s opening to Iran and he said it was a “great shame Iran has not responded.”

He also promised there will be a “strong continuity of British policy” on Iran under the new Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition, saying its approach resembled the approach taken by the previous Labour Government.

“The United Kingdom will work solidly alongside the United States to secure the Security Council resolution we’ve just been speaking of,” he said.

When asked when the two governments might be forced to discuss military action against Iran, Hague replied: “We’ve never ruled out supporting, in the future, military action, but we’re not calling for it.”

The junior coalition partner, the Liberal Democrats, have long opposed military action outright.

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