Friday, March 10, 2006

Blair Vows to See Iran's Atomic Program Through UN

Prime Minister Tony Blair vowed on Friday to pursue Iran's nuclear programme through the U.N. Security Council, saying a failure by Tehran to honour its global obligations would lead to "a serious situation". The U.N. Security Council is due to take up Iran's case after an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board of governors meeting ended on Wednesday without an agreement among key powers on defusing the standoff.

"We're at the point where there's a process with the atomic energy authority and then afterwards in the United Nations and we should just continue and see it through," Blair told journalists during a visit to Prague. READ MORE

Ambassadors from permanent council members -- the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China -- meet again on Friday to work out a statement the Western powers hope will be adopted by the 15 Security Council members next week.

The EU, led by France, Britain and Germany, started talks with Iran 2-1/2 years ago in the hope of convincing it to scrap uranium enrichment, which can produce fuel for power plants or weapons, for economic and political incentives.

Those talks collapsed in August after Iran broke a suspension of enrichment-related work by resuming uranium processing, and a last-gasp meeting between the two sides a week ago failed to produce an agreement.

Blair said that Iranians have the same rights as everybody else in the world, but added there are obligations as well.

"Iran has certain obligations it's got to abide by. If it doesn't, and the Security Council has to act then that means there's a serious situation and we should be very clear about that," Blair said.