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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Ban Ki-moon discusses detained British sailors in talks with Iranian official

29 March 2007 The detention of 15 British marines and sailors in Iran and the Middle Eastern country’s nuclear programme topped the agenda today during bilateral talks between Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Motaki.

Mr. Ban “expressed his wish to see an early resolution” of the row over the marines and sailors, according to a read-out of the talks, held this morning in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The Secretary-General also urged Iran to comply in full with all Security Council resolutions, including resolution 1747, which was adopted by the 15-member panel last Saturday.

That resolution tightened existing sanctions on Iran, imposing a ban on arms sales and expanding the freeze on assets, in response to the country’s uranium-enrichment activities, which Tehran says are for peaceful purposes but which other countries contend are driven by military ambitions.

The resolution also reaffirms that Iran must take the steps required by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors, which has called for a full and sustained suspension of all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities; and ratification and implementation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty’s (NPT) Additional Protocol granting the IAEA expanded rights of access to information and sites, as well as additional authority to use the most advanced technologies during the verification process.

Mr. Ban was in Riyadh to attend the Summit of the League of Arab States, a key part of his current tour of the Middle East.

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