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Clinton slams Iran nuclear move

2012-01-11 13:09

Washington - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday Iran's decision to enrich uranium near the city of Qom was "especially troubling" and urged Tehran to return to serious talks with Western powers over its atomic programme.

"This step once again demonstrates the Iranian regime's blatant disregard for its responsibilities and that the country's growing isolation is self-inflicted," Clinton said in a statement.

Clinton's strongly worded comments repeated US concerns over Iran's announcement that it had started enrichment at the underground Fordow bunker near Qom, which came amid rising tensions between Tehran and western powers.

Iran denies Western suspicions that its nuclear programme has military goals, saying it is for purely peaceful purposes.

"The circumstances surrounding this latest action are especially troubling," Clinton said.

"There is no plausible justification for this production. Such enrichment brings Iran a significant step closer to having the capability to produce weapons-grade highly enriched uranium."

Clinton rejected Iran's assertion that it needed to enrich uranium to produce fuel for a medical research reactor, saying Western powers had offered alternatives means of obtaining such fuel but their offers had been rejected by Tehran.

The United States imposed additional sanctions on Iran last month and the European Union is expected to agree on a ban on imports of Iranian crude oil later this month.

As sanctions squeeze, Iran has threatened to shut the Strait of Hormuz, the outlet for 40% of the world's traded oil.

PF+1

At the same time, it has called for fresh nuclear talks with the permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany, a group known as the "P5+1", which have been stalled for a year.

Calling on Iran to immediately halt uranium enrichment, Clinton also urged Tehran to return to talks with the P5+1 "prepared to engage seriously on its nuclear programme".

"We reaffirm that our overall goal remains a comprehensive, negotiated solution," Clinton said.

Daryl Kimball, executive director of the non-profit Arms Control Association, welcomed Clinton's fresh call for a negotiated solution.

"The United States and its 'P5+1' partners - China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United Kingdom - should continue to prepare for and more energetically pursue additional talks with Iran and continue to highlight constructive proposals they are prepared to discuss," Kimball said in an emailed comment.

"A near-term goal should be to test Iran's recent publicly stated offer to halt uranium enrichment to 20% levels if it could have access to fuel for its Tehran Research Reactor," he added.

"A stockpile of 20% would allow Iran to shorten its time frame to produce weapons, if it chose to do so," Kimball said. "We should not forgo any realistic opportunities to reduce that risk."

Comments
  • Blade - 2012-01-11 13:52

    We need a modern crusade.

      Jaba - 2012-01-11 15:01

      Christians under Siege in Gaza - World Silent!!! plz watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adeKtTlejNY

      Barry - 2012-01-11 19:45

      We need the USA and Israel out of the middle east.

      GWS - 2012-01-11 23:25

      Iran will catch a PK...it's coming. All radical extremists end up the same way....dying violently and usually at the hands of their own people..makes ya think.

  • Ballito - 2012-01-11 15:29

    lmao hillary please be angry with bill he was the one getting blow jobs at work.roflmfao what losers talk about morals and values when the pa was doing favours to her hubby THE BIG SEX SCANDAL.believe it or not @ first bill actually lied and told he never had an affair then monica blew his whole cia cover and how she fave him blow jobs at work.these americans i tell u.lmao write any news and they will believe it.up till this day they are still searching for weapons in iraq lmao.no wonder western countries wants arabs oil shme tell them the arabs have the wealth for themselves not for them.i gues if ur country going down and the economys taking a dip go to war witha arab country that has oil.and wait dnt forget to call it terror attacks.fools as for the jewish south africans if u dnt like south africa.Leave u such a small minority we wont miss.ask the ones that went they are getn hammered in britian with rascist remarks from their own white brothers lol

  • Barry - 2012-01-11 20:32

    Hillary has so much blood on her hands. I wonder how she sleeps at night. Go Iran !!

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