Iran’s nuclear programme is being discussed by the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – just days before the issue goes before the body, as a whole. The dossier has been sent there by the UN nuclear watchdog. Washington has been pressing for tougher international action to isolate Iran.
But, asked if sanctions were being discussed by EU foreign ministers meeting in Austria today, the bloc’s foreign policy chief Javier Solana said: “No. We are talking about a gradual approach to give some room still for diplomacy.” In Friday prayers in Tehran, the European Union was denounced as a US puppet.
Hardline cleric Ahmad Khatami told worshippers that Iran’s nuclear ambitions did not include the making of an atomic bomb. The country maintains its programme is for peaceful purposes. Khatami said George W Bush was using the nuclear affair to further his goal of toppling the Islamic Republic’s government. As Iranians prepare themselves for next week’s Security Council proceedings, the US president himself described Iran as an issue of “grave national security concern.”