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EU supports talks, sanctions in dealing with Iran

The European Union voices its support for action by the United Nations Security Council against Iran but says it favors diplomatic engagement with the country.

Speaking on behalf of the EU on Wednesday, Spain started off by expressing willingness for diplomatic engagement with Iran.

“The European Union remains ready to engage with Iran in order to reach a negotiated solution to the issue, should Iran take concrete decisions toward that end,” according to the joint EU statement read out by Spain to a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna.

Meanwhile, the statement described Iran’s actions regarding its nuclear issue as “persistent failure to meet its international obligations”, adding that it requires “a clear response, including through appropriate measures.”

“The European Union would support action by the UNSC (UN Security Council) if Iran continues not to cooperate with the international community over its nuclear program. The European Union stands ready to take the necessary steps to accompany this UNSC process,” it added.

The statement was read out to the IAEA’s 35-member board of governors, which is currently holding its four-day spring meeting.

The announcement was made as the US is stepping up efforts to slap tough sanctions against Iran in a bid to force the country into meeting its demands over its nuclear program.

The efforts, however, have met with a cold response from China, a veto-wielding member of the Security Council. The 118-member bloc of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has also voiced support for Iran’s nuclear program and criticized the West for exerting pressure on Tehran.

Iran, a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), says its program is directed at the civilian applications of the technology, including energy production.

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