Iran should open nuke programme: UN chief

Last Updated: Saturday, February 18, 2012 - 10:22

Vienna: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Friday that Iran must disprove allegations that it is secretly developing nuclear weapons and that diplomacy is the only way to resolve international concern about its programme.

Ban appeared to reject US and Israeli suggestions of possible military strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities as a last resort, if diplomatic efforts fail to persuade the Islamic Republic to stop work that could be used to make such weapons.

"All these issues should be resolved peacefully through negotiations, through dialogue," the UN chief told reporters when asked if there was a "Plan B", a possible alternative to diplomacy. I don`t know what you meant by `Plan B.` But there is no alternative to a peaceful resolution to this issue."

Ban spoke after attending ceremonies marking the 15th anniversary of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation, a Vienna-based UN agency set up to detect secret nuclear weapons testing, and ahead of a crucial visit to Tehran by International Atomic Energy Agency experts.

Ban urged quick action from the United States and the seven other nations that need to ratify the nuclear Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty to bring it into force.

"It is irresponsible to see this treaty still waiting to come into effect 15 years after it was opened for signature," he said.


First Published: Saturday, February 18, 2012 - 10:22

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