Iran News ...


6/5/03

UK's Blair says Iran's alleged nuclear programme a world issue

Prime Minister Tony Blair insisted Wednesday that no country was threatening war against Iran but claimed that its alleged nuclear programme was a world issue, IRNA reported from London.

"It is very, very important that Iran realises the seriousness of the international community's intent on this issue. The IAEA has got to be able without any conditions at all to carry out its work," he told MPs.

Answering questions about last weekend's summit of the G8 industrialised countries, Blair said "nobody is threatening military action in respect to Iran."

But he insisted that Iran had to understand that "the whole of the world community - there is completely in unanimity on this at the G8 - is not find it acceptable that the nuclear programme continues to be delivered in Iran.

The Prime Minister was responding to a question from Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy, who insisted that the UK must have a "balanced policy" in contrast to the US over the alleged nuclear threat from Iran and North Korea.

In response, Blair widened the contention to included alleged support for terrorism, and said Iran "have to understand we are very very serious about the unacceptability of these activities."

"We have worked very long and hard about a proper dialogue with the Iranian government and I welcome that and I think it is good to do so," he said.

But he added that the engagement "has to be on the basis of being absolutely upfront with them about the concerns we and the whole of the international community have."

In his statement on the G8, Blair said that Russia had pledged at the meeting in France to suspect nuclear fuel exports until Iran met demands of the IAEA.

The summit "emphasized the proliferation implications of Iran's advanced nuclear program and called on Iran to sign and implement an IAEA additional protocol without delay and without conditions," he said.

... Payvand News - 6/5/03 ... --



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