Thursday, April 06, 2006

U.S.: Iran may face sanctions after two UN warnings

The United Nations Security Council could give Iran only two chances to comply with demands for the Islamic republic to curb its nuclear activity before imposing sanctions, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. said on Thursday.

"This is a calibrated, gradual, reversible approach," said Ambassador John Bolton, who has met fierce resistance at the Security Council for his plans to pressure Iran.

If Iran defies a statement from the Security Council, which has urged it to suspend its nuclear enrichment activities by the end of this month, then the council would likely issue a stiffer warning demanding such compliance, Bolton said.

"Then we will consider the next step, which may well be a Chapter 7 resolution that imposes sanctions of some kind," Bolton told reporters, referring to a U.N. measure is legally binding under international law. READ MORE

Iran denies it is building a nuclear weapon.

Given the resistance to a U.S.-led campaign against Iran at the Security Council, particularly from veto holders Russia and China, Bolton, a U.S. hardliner, also reiterated Washington was considering tactics outside from the U.N. body to apply pressure.

In Tehran, Iranian officials had no comment on Bolton's remarks.