R E G I O N: Send ‘clear, united message’ to Iran: UK
* France claims Tehran striving to divide international community over nuclear issue
LONDON: British Prime Minister Tony Blair said on Wednesday it was time for the world to “send a clear and united message” to Iran to stop its disputed nuclear work and support for terrorism.
Blair told parliament that while “nobody was talking about military invasion of Iran or military action against Iran” it was not a time to “send a message of weakness” when Tehran calls for eliminating Israel and supports terrorism.
He reminded members of parliament that Iran was in the news headlines because “they are in breach of their international obligations and not cooperating properly with” the UN nuclear watchdog.
“I would have thought that this is the time for the world to send a clear and united message to the Iranian regime to desist from that (uranium enrichment) and desist from financing terrorist activities around the world and get back to their international obligations,” Blair said.
Speaking during the weekly Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons, Blair declared that it was “perfectly sensible” for US President George W Bush or any US president not to rule out military action.
“However, we are actually pursuing a diplomatic solution to the issue of Iran and that diplomatic solution is being taking forward now in the UN Security Council,” he said.
French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy warned Wednesday that the international community must stand united over Iran’s nuclear drive, stressing the key role of China and Russia.
“If the international community is united – China and Russia with us – the Iranians... will answer: ‘We can not be isolated’,” Douste-Blazy told French radio RMC.
“If, on the contrary, the Chinese and the Russians, if the international community is not united it makes it easy for the Iranians to continue” to defy international demands for them to halt sensitive nuclear work, he said. Douste-Blazy charged that Tehran was “seeking division in the international community”. AFP