US sceptical about Iran changing its course

The US has expressed scepticism over Iran providing any "serious response".

Last Updated: May 15, 2010, 11:31 AM IST

Washington: The US has expressed scepticism
over Iran providing any "serious response" to concerns raised
by the international community about its controversial nuclear
programme until the UN security Council imposes sanctions on
it.

"I have told my counterparts in many capitals around the
world that I believe that we will not get any serious response
out of the Iranians until after the (UN) Security Council
acts," Clinton said at a joint news conference with visiting
new British Foreign Secretary William Hague.

Clinton said she is not expecting much progress in this
weekend`s visit of the Turkish and Brazilian leaders to
Tehran, as both the US and Britain believe Iran is determined
to pursue its nuclear weapons programme.

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna is also scheduled
to pay a visit to Iran.

State Department spokesman P J Crowley separately told
reporters that he is not aware if the US has reached out to
India on the Iranian issue.

In the past two days, Clinton has made personal telephone
calls to the Foreign Ministers of the Turkey and Brazil to
tell them that Iran is not meeting its international
obligations.

Any attempt by the leaders of Turkey and Brazil to
convince Iran to give up its nuclear weapons programme and
come to the dialogue table, Clinton observed, would be just
like climbing a hill.

"We are making progress every day. This is the highest
priority, not only of the United States but of many of our
partners and allies like the UK. We believe that the case is
being made perhaps most effectively by the Iranians
themselves," she said.

Clinton also pointed out that the Iranians were not
responding to the offers of engagement.

The Secretary of State said Brazilians are still hopeful
that they would "climb the hill" to convince Iran to join the
P5 Plus 1 (US, UK, France, Russia and China plus Germany)
negotiation process.

"So the world leadership, as evidenced by the Security
Council, has moved in the same direction -- some perhaps more
quickly than others -- but in the direction of reaffirming the
authority of the Security Council, of putting some real teeth
into the sanctions, of uniting the world in a way that will
send an unequivocal message to the Iranian leadership," she
said.

Hague, on his part, said that he had long advocated that
the European Union should adopt financial sanctions of the
kind the United States has implemented on this issue. "But, of
course, we`ll have to get into the specifics of that once the
Security Council resolution is passed."

Observing that there is no magic to this approach, he
said it requires persistence and determination and united
strength in the international community to tackle this
problem.

"And so we will buttress that as, indeed, our
predecessors have tried to do. We have never ruled out
supporting, in the future, military action, but we`re not
calling for it," Hague said in response to a question.

"It is precisely because we want to see this matter
settled peacefully and rapidly that we call for the sanctions,
that we support the idea of a Security Council resolution.

That is our perspective on it," he said supporting the US
stand on Iran.
PTI