Source: Website of British Foreign Office, Sept. 25, 2009
Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called on Iran to abandon any military ambitions it may have for its nuclear programme after the UK, the US and France revealed the existence of a second uranium-enrichment plant in the country.
Mr Brown said the international community had “no choice but to draw a line in the sand” and warned Iran it must engage with the UN Security Council and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) or face tougher sanctions.
The PM joined US President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy to condemn Iran’s actions in a jointly held statement to the press at the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh.He said:
“I say on behalf of the UK that we will not let this matter rest and we are prepared to implement further and more stringent sanctions. Let the message that goes out to the world be absolutely clear – that Iran must abandon any military ambitions for its nuclear programme.”
President Obama began the press conference by explaining that the US, the UK and France had submitted detailed evidence on Iran’s covert activity to the IAEA in Vienna yesterday. He called upon Iran to act immediately and “restore the confidence of the international community by fulfilling its international obligations”.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said that Iran had made a challenge “to the whole international community” and that “everything must be put on the table” when Iranian officials meet with representatives of France, the US, the UK, Russia, China and Germany on 1 October.
Iran is currently under three sets of UN Security Council sanctions for refusing to halt enrichment at what had been its single known enrichment plant, which is being monitored by the IAEA. It first admitted the existence of the new plant in a letter to the IAEA earlier this week.
Yesterday, the UN Security Council unanimously backed a resolution aimed at preventing nuclear proliferation and reducing nuclear weapons stockpiles.
During the council meeting, Mr Brown had said the international community must learn lessons from what had happened in Iran and North Korea, and the onus should be on countries to prove they are complying with international agreements on nuclear weapons.