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Rice: Iran Must Be Given 'Strong Message' on Nuclear Activities

  • VOA News

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the international community needs to send a strong message to Iran about its nuclear activities.

At a news conference in Washington with Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Derbez, Rice said the issues with Iran are not going to go away. She called for negotiators to agree on a text for a United Nations Security Council statement on Iran.

Rice said she discussed the Iran issue in a phone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. She said they agreed to ask their negotiators to work over the next days on the text of the statement.

A State Department spokesman also said Rice is to visit Germany, France and Britain next week. Those three countries have been negotiating with Iran on the nuclear issue.
The spokesman also said efforts are ongoing to convene a high-level meeting of the five permanent Security Council members plus Germany.

Germany and the permanent Security Council members -- the United States, France, China, Russia and Britain -- have failed to agree on how to press Iran to suspend uranium enrichment activities and comply with international standards.

Russia and China have opposed a Western draft statement on the grounds it could lead to sanctions against Iran and remove the issue from the agenda of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The United States accuses Iran of seeking to build a nuclear weapon -- a charge Tehran denies.

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