Brown seeks to tighten sanctions on Iran
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During a meeting with US President George Bush, British PM Gordon Brown said he had been talking to fellow European leaders about broadening sanctions against Tehran and making sure that existing measures are properly enforced.
Read FRANCE 24's analysis on Brown's three-day state visit to the United States
WASHINGTON, April 17 (Reuters) - The leaders of the United
States and Britain on Thursday pledged a united effort to
prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, possibly by
expanding sanctions against Tehran.
"Our position is clear: that we're going to work together
along with other nations to make it abundantly clear to the
Iranian regime that they must not have the capability of
developing a nuclear weapon," President George W. Bush said at
a Rose Garden news conference with British Prime Minister
His comments came after Mohamed ElBaradei, director-general
of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said Iran's progress
in developing uranium enrichment is slow and that recent
additions to its nuclear fuel production complex have only been
"If they learn how to enrich, it is knowledge which can be
used to develop a nuclear weapon," Bush said.
The United States has been leading efforts at the United
Nations to pressure Iran to halt its nuclear program, which
Tehran says is only for civilian purposes.
"Iran continues to defy the will of the international
community. And we are agreed on the need to strengthen the
sanctions regime and ensure that these sanctions are
effectively implemented," Brown said.
The United States has repeatedly said it is pursuing a
solution through diplomatic efforts. "And now is the time to
confront the threat. And I believe we can solve the problem
diplomatically," Bush said.
Brown said he was talking with other European leaders about
how to extend sanctions against Iran. "I make no apology for
saying that we will extend sanctions, where possible, on Iran,"
"So in the next few weeks we want to extend the measures
and sanctions to include investment in liquefied natural gas.
I believe that sends another signal to the regime that what is
happening is unacceptable," Brown said.
A senior U.S. Treasury official in Washington said U.S.
sanctions banning transactions with Iran's central bank are
among the options in the Bush administration's "toolbox" to
pressure Iran to limit its nuclear program.
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