US accuses Iran of stalling; will seek sanctions

August 7th, 2008 - 2:45 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Aug 7 (DPA) Iran has failed to provide a clear response to an international offer aimed at resolving the nuclear dispute and discussions have begun towards enacting another round of UN Security Council sanctions, the US State Department said Wednesday. Iran Tuesday submitted a letter to EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana that apparently was not a response to an incentives package offered by major powers to entice Iran into suspending enrichment.

“We’re very disappointed that Iran has failed yet again to give Javier Solana a clear answer to the … generous incentives package,” acting State Department deputy spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos said. “The letter we received yesterday appears to be a stalling tactic.”

The five permanent members of the Security Council - Britain, China, France, Russia and the US - plus Germany have provided Iran with a series of diplomatic and economic incentives in return for a suspension of uranium enrichment.

The US and its European partners have said a failure by Iran to respond would result in more Security Council sanctions. The Security Council has already enacted three rounds of limited sanctions.

Senior diplomats from the six countries held talks over the telephone Wednesday morning and agreed to pursue additional sanctions.

“We have no choice but to pursue further measures against Iran as part of this strategy,” Gallegos said.

“We discussed beginning to consider the possible outlines of another sanctions resolution,” he said.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called the Iranian response “unsatisfactory” and a rebuffing of international attempts to resolve the dispute diplomatically.

Iran has steadfastly refused to halt uranium enrichment and rejects western suspicions that the process is being used to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran says it is enriching uranium solely for producing energy.

Iran, however, has recently signalled a desire to negotiate, but the US maintains that the Islamic state must first comply with Security Council demands to halt uranium enrichment. Solana has been leading the international talks with Iran.

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