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EU foreign ministers call for new Iran sanctions

The Local · 24 Sep 2012, 08:33

Published: 24 Sep 2012 08:33 GMT+02:00

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The foreign ministers of the three countries wrote to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton last week calling for tougher measures as the showdown with Tehran becomes more tense, a European diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The EU is working on more sanctions as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seeks to counter the pressure on his country at this week's UN General Assembly in New York.

Ahmadinejad met UN leader Ban Ki-moon on Sunday as the EU foreign policy chief held talks on Iran and other topics with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in New York.

Details of the new EU measures are still being worked on but foreign ministers from the 27-nation bloc will discuss the move at a meeting in Brussels on October 15.

The United States and its European allies say that Iran is working toward a nuclear bomb. Iran says its research is for peaceful energy purposes. There has been mounting speculation in recent months that Israel is planning a military strike on Iran's bunkered nuclear facilities.

The United States, Britain and France warned at the UN Security Council last week that time is running out for a negotiated solution with Iran.

"It is necessary that we sharpen the sanctions," said a second western official, confirming the request by foreign ministers William Hague of Britain, Laurent Fabius of France and Guido Westerwelle of Germany.

"We think there is still time for a political solution, a diplomatic solution, and this is what we are working for. But we cannot accept nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran," said the official, also speaking on condition of anonymity.

Ashton is to chair a meeting in New York on Thursday of the six nations – the EU three, plus the United States, Russia and China – who have been seeking to negotiate a solution with Iran.

The international community has pursued a dual track of pressure through sanctions while seeking to negotiate. But the US and European nations say Iran is refusing to talk.

UN chief Ban "urged Iran to take the measures necessary to build international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear programme," said a UN spokeswoman, Vannina Maestracci.

Ban and Ahmadinejad also discussed the war in Syria and the protests in the Muslim world against a US-made film that mocks Islam.

Story continues below…

The showdown with Iran is one of the key topics at the UN assembly where Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also scheduled to speak.

Ahmadinejad, who will address world leaders on Wednesday, is probably making his last appearance at the UN assembly where he has become a controversial figure.

Western nations regularly walk out of his speeches in protest at his anti-Israeli comments.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:30 September 24, 2012 by ovalle3.14
New sanctions? That will scare the bad guys!
11:00 September 24, 2012 by Onlythetruth
If nothing changes soon Israel is going to fly up their noses with some personal messages for the Ayatollah. Lets hope they do as much damage as possible.
11:12 September 24, 2012 by intensive_care
Why not Iran should take revenge from Germany for supplying chemical weapons to Iraq to kill his soldiers (weapons illegal under international law)? Why not they should use the same tactics against Israel and EU what they are doing to sabotage Iran?

I am sure that my words will hurt the reader and I am sorry for that... So please stop being part of war.
13:03 September 24, 2012 by Onlythetruth
Iran should not take revenge unless they want their country destroyed which is a good reason to strike now while the West has the overwhelming advantage. In my opinion the Iranians should never have been allowed to get as far as they have towards a nuclear weapon. Perhaps real action will be taken once the american election is over in a few weeks.
13:38 September 24, 2012 by JOHNATAN
No need to war.

the sanctions are doing well.
15:02 September 24, 2012 by michael4096
"...a good reason to strike now while the West has the overwhelming advantage..."

Wasn't that the reason WW1 started?

Never mind, I'm sure we'll be home before Christmas...
15:48 September 24, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks
@ Intensive _Care

Your comment is correct, but could be more complete.

German companies (did the Government know?) supplied most of the chemical warfare technology to Iraq. Other countries included Brazil, Switzerland, Egypt, France, Italy, Austria, Singapore, Luxembourg…

The USA did too but it was minimal and some / most of that was actually used by Iraq to create vaccines against disease, which was the intended purpose of that.

Saddam was a bad man. He killed at least 100,000 Iranians with chemical weapons and maybe another 20,000 Kurds. We should be thankful the USA and its allies (almost none from the countries that profited from selling the technology to Iraq) removed him from power.
16:04 September 24, 2012 by Onlythetruth
@ michael4096

If that was indeed the reason WW1 started the its clear that conditions and their consequences today are exactly the same as they were 100 years ago. Besides letting Iran arm itself with nuclear weapons won't have the slightest effect on the balance of power in the middle east or around the world. Its obvious that Iran is determined to become a nuclear power at whatever price so we might just as well accept the inevitable and cede that part of the world to Iranian domination.
16:35 September 24, 2012 by michael4096

I think you missed the point. Germany made the pre-emptive attack. They lost.

Egypt & Syria did something similar in 1973. They lost too.

It's called the law of unintended consequences and has a nasty habit of biting pre-emptive attackers.
17:11 September 24, 2012 by intensive_care

Donald Rumsfeld supplied chemical weapons to Iraq that killed these innocent people, so the bigger evil has destroyed a lesser evil.

According to your logic Vietnam, Cambodia, North Korea and South American nations like Panama, Nicaragua, Mexico, Colombia and Bolivia should also attack USA and kill innocent civilians in the name of promoting peace in USA for its terrorism in supporting drug cartel (Operation Fast and Furious), dictators (Colombia and Panama), injecting STD in general population and faking attack on its interests (Gulf of Tolkien). Will you say thanks these nations? If not then let the people decide what leaders they want, if they don't want to change their leader and are willing to live a humiliating life let them be.
20:03 September 24, 2012 by Englishted
I think we will have to remove this potential nuclear power from the region,

Why? because:

"Ahmadinejad: Israel has "no roots" in Middle East history

" Iran's president says Israel an irritant, will be "eliminated"

From the horses mouth at the U.N. in New York today 24. 09. 12
20:05 September 24, 2012 by PNWDev

(Wasnt that the reason World War I started)

What are you talking about? Germany made the pre-emptive attack (#9)? No, it was a Serb Nationalist that assassinated Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, to start WW I, which forced the Austrians to invade Serbia, which brought in Russia, France, Germany, etc….

And if it was a typo and you were meaning WW II, than the truth is such a simplistic statement cannot be made about the start of that war either.


(So please stop being part of war)

Oh perfect, we will all pack up and become isolationists and watch as your peace-loving Ahmadumbejad starts nuking his enemies like he promises in hopes his Shiite Blue Jeannie returns real soon.
20:19 September 24, 2012 by Englishted

"which forced the Austrians to invade Serbia,"

Or you could say as most of the world did at the time ,the ultimatum that Austria gave could not be accepted in all its clauses (all but one were ) by any free nation anywhere at the time .

However I think he was referring to the German attack on neutral Belgium.

WW2 you may also find this simplistic was undoubtedly started by Hitler at least in Europe.
20:46 September 24, 2012 by intensive_care
War makes and promotes isolation, not peace. Give respect a chance and for a change think twice before making harsh comments.
21:28 September 24, 2012 by PNWDev
Ohh Englishted, our one-day love affair ended quickly just as I suspected.

Listen, if you are going to go shoot someone, then you must accept the consequences of retaliation. If you do not like that idea, then do not pick a fight with someone. If you bloody my nose with a cheap shot, do not cry when I break your arms and legs and do not accuse me of using too much force in my response.

Oh yes, it is easy to limit the cause to the obvious bad guy Hitler. But what about those poor Poles your Brits abandoned? And what about the Soviet invasion of Poland 11 days after Germany moved in? And why did Germany take that part of Poland? Did you not declare war on Germany for Germanys invasion of western Poland? Why did you not also declare war on the Soviet Union for doing the same especially after the west knew the Soviets slaughtered tens-of-thousands of Pole leaders in the Katyn Forest as acknowledged by the US government last Monday? And didn¦#39;t the Soviet Union also attack Finland? Why did you not come to the aid if the Fins? And did you not abandon the Polish people a second time by giving them to the Soviets at the end of the war? Oh, but they were your allies so its not so bad.

So you see, it is not as simplistic as your surface-level arguments promote. It was much more political, and the truth is, Britain can share the blame for expanding the war by picking a fight they knew they had no chance of winning unless they could beg the Americans to save their sorry-souls.
22:52 September 24, 2012 by jg.
There is an immediate possibility that Israel may attempt to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities. Even if they do manage to strike all the sites (about 25?), it is possible that this will only serve to delay, rather than end Iran's nuclear weapons programme.

Quite apart from the Israel:Iran issues, other countries in the region are also uncomfortable with the prospect of a nuclear armed Iran. The longer term problem is that some of these countries (Turkey, Saudi Arabia ?) may decide that they need to counter the Iranian threat with their own nuclear weapons. If one or more withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and start their own weapons programmes, then other will likely follow. We will then have a new arms race in the middle east and the NNPT will be pointless.
01:45 September 25, 2012 by Onlythetruth
@ michael4096

Unintended consequences of an Iranian pre-emptive strike might include the fall of the regime or other bonus. By the way, Germany made no pre-emptive attack on Poland in 1939. It was aggression pure and simple.
10:50 September 25, 2012 by michael4096
WW1. Ferdinand's assassination was only the beginning with hindsight - nobody thought "Oh! Ferdinand has been shot, let's have a world war!"

Austria, took Ferdinand's death as an excuse for a land grab in the Balkans - but this was still a local affair.

Russia then got really upset because the land grabbed was their route to the Black Sea and the rest of the world. They threatened Austria with war. Germany was allied to Austria so any Russian attack on Austria would bring Germany into the conflict. However, France was allied to Russia and would also be brought in making Germany the nut in the France-Russia nutcracker. So Germany made the fatefull decision to pre-emptively strike France the only way it could - through Belgium - which was when the 'world' war really began.
14:49 September 25, 2012 by Onlythetruth
Whatever the unintended consequences of a pre-emptive attack, the consequences of a nuclear armed outlaw Iran are too horrible to contemplate.
20:55 September 25, 2012 by Englishted

Unrequited I'm afraid.

"Britain can share the blame for expanding the war by picking a fight they knew they had no chance of winning unless they could beg the Americans to save their sorry-souls."

Are you officially in the tea party or just your average loner looney?
23:00 September 25, 2012 by Onlythetruth
PNWDev's off the wall comment has nothing to do with any tea party.

The Brits abandoned the Poles? Really? England declared war on Germany because it invaded Poland. Why did Germany take that part of Poland? Hitler had no intention of stopping with part of Poland, he was planning on going all the way thru it to Moscow. The allies didn't give Poland to the Russia after WW2, the Russians absorbed it into their system of buffer states. As to why we didn't go to war with Russia it was because Germany was the greater danger. After the nazis were overthrown the cold war began and the West finally triumphed over the Soviet Union as well and without another big and possibly final conflict.
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