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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

UN demands explanation for Iranian arms ship, US invites Iran to unclench its fist and talk

The United Nations has demanded that Iran and Syria explain within a week the Iranian ship that was carrying arms to Gaza in violation of UN sanctions against Iran, whose cargo was offloaded at Limmasol, Cyprus. And the US has invited Iran to unclench its fist and come talk about it.
The ambassadors of France and Britain described the episode at a Security Council meeting held Tuesday in New York as a "gross violation" of existing resolutions banning Iranian arms exports.

"The United Kingdom looks forward to the committee receiving explanations from Iran and Syria as to why the shipment was permitted by Iran as the reported state of origin and as to the involvement of Syria as the reported state of destination," said British envoy John Sawers.

Both countries are required to respond within ten working days, according to a statement from Japanese ambassador Yukio Takasu, who chairs the Security Council committee set up in 2006 to oversee Iran sanctions. The committee determined on February 6 that Iran was in violation of existing sanctions but has not taken any punitive action. [What the heck are they waiting for? CiJ]

Both French ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert and US envoy Susan Rice invited Iran to use the opportunity to engage in diplomatic negotiations on its nuclear and other arms programs.

"The United States will not waver in its determination to ensure that Iran does not obtain nuclear weapons but the United States also sees an opportunity - a chance for the Iranian government to demonstrate that it is willing to unclench its fist and begin a serious, responsible discussion about a range of issues," Rice said in her formal remarks.
I'm sure Iran is eager to do that. Heh.


At 12:39 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

I think Iran will forfeit its illicit cargo rather than throw open its nuclear program to diplomatic "sunshine."



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