Tuesday, Nov 10th, 2009
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has once again threatened Iran, warning that Washington has kept every option on the table when it comes to halting Tehran’s nuclear program.
“We’ve always said that every option is on the table. Our goal is to prevent or dissuade Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons,” Clinton who is in Germany said in a late Monday interview with PBS’s Charlie Rose.
The former first lady added that the US could not accept an arms race in the Middle East which could be triggered by what she claimed was Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.
“It is not in Iran’s interest to have a nuclear arms race in the (Persian) Gulf, where they would be less secure than they are today. It is not in Iran’s interest, to the Iranian people’s interest, to be subjected to very onerous sanctions.”
Clinton added that US President Barack Obama was still seeking a “civil, diplomatic relationship” with Tehran but raised the alarm that Washington may resort to other options in connection with Iran’s nuclear case in order to best save its ‘interests’.
Iran rejects the allegation that its nuclear work has a military agenda and defends its nuclear program as solely peaceful and within the framework of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), to which it is a signatory.
Clinton’s remarks come as the US has been piling up pressure on Iran to accept an IAEA-backed nuclear draft deal that wants Iran to send its enriched uranium to Russia and from there to France for further enrichment. The deal is to provide Iran with 20 percent enriched uranium for the Tehran research reactor, which produces radioisotopes for medical purposes.
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has expressed his country’s ‘economic and technical’ reservations over the proposal.
Tehran does not agree to sending that much of its uranium abroad in one go. The Islamic Republic says it has concerns over the return of the nuclear fuel back into the country as the potential suppliers, including France and Russia, had in the past violated their agreements with Iran.
Sources close to the Iranian nuclear negotiating team say Tehran wants a two-staged and simultaneous exchange of uranium with potential suppliers.
Tehran needs some 120 kilos of uranium enriched to 20 percent to fuel its research reactor in Tehran. In the first stage, Iran wants to exchange 400 kilos of low-enriched uranium for some 60 kilos of 20-percent enriched uranium. After a while, it would be then ready to carry out a second, identical exchange.
The US says no alteration will be made to the draft deal, insisting that Iran should accept the deal as proposed.
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This article was posted: Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at 12:22 pm