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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

voanews.com

Leaders of Germany, France Call for International Pressure on Iran

By VOA News
06 December 2007

The leaders of Germany and France have called for continued international pressure on Iran over its nuclear program, despite a new U.S. intelligence report that says Iran halted its nuclear weapons activities in 2003.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Iran continues to pose a threat. She spoke Thursday with French President Nicolas Sarkozy at a joint news conference in Paris.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice today called for tougher U.N. sanctions against Iran, saying the new U.S. intelligence assessment does not change the course of U.S. policy on Iran.

She says the findings show that international pressure on Tehran has had an effect and must continue.

Rice is holding talks Thursday on Iran with NATO and European Union ministers in Brussels. She plans to press for a third round of U.N. sanctions against Tehran for its refusal to stop enriching uranium.

Rice also plans to hold private talks on the issue Friday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Russia has said its intelligence found no proof that Iran had a nuclear weapons program before 2003, as U.S. intelligence agencies have asserted.

The new U.S. assessment says Iran likely will be capable of producing enough enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon between 2010 and 2015.

Iran has never acknowledged having a nuclear weapons program and says its nuclear activities are only for peaceful uses.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.



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