Da The New York Times del 01/09/2006
Originale su http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/world/international-nuclear-iran.html?_...

US Considers Sanctions on Iran

TEHRAN - The United States said on Friday it was consulting European governments about possible sanctions against Iran for intransigence over its nuclear program, but the EU signaled it wanted to see more dialogue with Tehran.

Iran faces the threat of U.N. Security Council sanctions after the U.N.'s atomic watchdog said Tehran had refused to stop work on its nuclear program by a Thursday deadline. Washington accuses Iran of seeking atomic bombs, a charge Tehran denies.

Tehran, which says its nuclear program is solely for power generation, remained defiant but reiterated it was open to talks over the issue.

''If the Western countries try to prohibit our nation's advance in peaceful nuclear technology by making frowning faces, they shall face this nation's anger,'' Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted by state TV as saying in a speech.

The United States is the driving force behind possible sanctions but Russia cast doubt on whether the Security Council could reach a quick consensus and said threatening Iran would lead to a ''dead end.''

The five countries with permanent seats on the Security Council -- China, Britain, France, Russia and the United States -- plus Germany will meet in Berlin on September 7 to discuss the way forward, the French Foreign Ministry said.

The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, said any sanctions should target Iran's leaders.

''We are in consultations with the EU and other governments about what the first sanction resolution could be,'' Bolton told reporters in New York, saying one option was to start with a small number of sanctions and escalate them over time.

''Another option is a very tough sanctions resolution as the first one. We haven't made any decision on that point and I am not aware that any European government has made any decision on that point,'' said Bolton.

In Europe, governments expressed varying degrees of disappointment at Iran's stance but were united in keeping sanctions at arm's length.


NEGOTIATED SOLUTION

French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin regretted ''very strongly'' what he called Iran's insufficient response.

''We think it is possible to go forward with dialogue but it is important that the international community show Iran the necessity to change position,'' Villepin said after talks with Italian Prime Minister Ra barrel on Friday over the prospect of sanctions against Iran receding.

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