Thursday, 11 February 2010

Obama Threatens Iran with “Significant Sanctions”, Brazil Opposes


10/02/2010 US President Barack Obama said the United States is developing a “significant regime of sanctions” against Iran, shortly after Tehran announced its decision to start enriching uranium to a level of 20 percent.

Obama stated that Iran appears to have spurned his offer of engagement. He also accused Iran of pursuing a nuclear program that would lead to nuclear weapons. "They have made their choice so far, although the door is still open," AP quoted Obama as telling reporters at the White House on Tuesday.

Obama added that the UN Security Council is moving quickly to broaden the economic sanctions imposed on Iran.

On Tuesday, Iran began enriching uranium to a level of 20 percent at its Natanz enrichment facility. Tehran officially informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) about its decision to produce 20-percent enriched uranium in a letter on Monday.

Iran needs 20-percent enriched uranium for the Tehran Research Reactor, which produces radioisotopes for the treatment of cancer patients. On Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast said that 850,000 patients in Iran depend on radioisotopes produced by the Tehran Research Reactor.

A senior US official however said that the United States could soon abandon its diplomatic approach to Iran's nuclear program in favor of tougher action. "We had a dual track but it is less and less likely that we are going to be able to maintain that dual track and not move to the pressure track very soon," said Ellen Tauscher, US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security.

"We are running out of time to do what is right ... and to ease the tension in the region," she told reporters during a trip to NATO headquarters in Brussels.

However, Brazil has warned against imposing a new round of UN sanctions on Iran, saying that the dispute over Iran's nuclear program should be resolved through peaceful means. "We don't want Iran to have nuclear arms, let there be no doubt about that. They, like other countries, have the right to a peaceful (nuclear power) program," Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim told reporters in Brasilia on Tuesday.

"We want to reach certainty (on Iran's program) through dialogue and peaceful means," Reuters quoted Amorim as saying. The Brazilian foreign minister also said that sanctions tend to mostly cause suffering for the residents of the nations targeted rather than their governments.

"In the case of Iraq, I saw much suffering of the Iraqi people. Infant mortality went up enormously, and I saw that (sanctions) had no real impact on Saddam Hussein," he stated.

Tehran has repeatedly declared that it will not relinquish the Iranian nation's legitimate nuclear rights under Western pressure.

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

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