Rice Urges Security Council to Take 'Strong Steps' Against Iran
By Steven Donald Smith
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 12, 2006 It's time for the U.N. Security Council to take action against Iran following its announcement yesterday that it has enriched uranium, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said today.
"The Security Council will need to take into consideration this move by Iran and that it will be time when it reconvenes on this case for strong steps to make certain that we maintain the credibility of the international community on this issue," Rice said before a meeting with Equatorial Guinean President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo here.
The enrichment of uranium is in direct violation of the U.N. Security Council presidential statement released in March, which called for Iran to halt its enrichment program.
"Let me remind everyone that the international community made a very clear statement through the presidential statement that was adopted by the Security Council and that that statement required Iran to live up to the obligations," Rice said.
The secretary said the Security Council should decide how to proceed when it receives a scheduled report on Iran from the International Atomic Energy Agency at the end of the month. "I think it will be time for action," she said.
Iranian officials claim that the enriched uranium will be used for civil power purposes only. However, the United States and its European allies contend that Iran intends to use the uranium to build a nuclear weapon.
Uranium is a chemically reactive radioactive metallic element that is the primary fuel used in nuclear reactors, as well as the main explosive material used for nuclear weapons.
"This is not a question of Iran's right to civil nuclear power," she said. "This is a question of that the world does not believe that Iran should have the capability and the technology that could lead to a nuclear weapon."
Rice characterized yesterday's announcement by Iran as another step toward isolating itself from the international community. "It demonstrates that Iran is not adhering to the international community's requirements," she said.
The secretary said Iran had squandered numerous opportunities to negotiate in good faith, yet she added that the U.S. would continue on a diplomatic path with Iran.
"We believe that a concerted and coherent diplomatic policy that the world is behind will convince the Iranians that they have to come back into compliance with what the international community is demanding of them," she said. "But there's no doubt in my mind that if the Iranians continue down this course there has to be some course of action by the Security Council."