AJC Praises U.S., Other World Powers, for Standing Firm in Iran Nuclear Talks
NEW YORK, May 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ –AJC praised world powers for holding firm in the just-concluded talks with Iran in Baghdad. Two days of discussions between the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany and Iran ended today with no agreement other than to meet again.
“Pleasantries aside, Iran has taken no action to prove its nuclear program is purely for civilian purposes, as it alleges,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “Clearly, Iran is using the talks as a cover for continued progress in its drive to achieve nuclear-weapons capability.”
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in a new report to be issued tomorrow, will confirm that in the past three months Iran has installed another 350 centrifuges at a facility near Qom. IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano wrote in the IAEA’s February report that the agency “continues to have serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program.” Last November, the IAEA issued a comprehensive and damning report indicating that Iran is advancing on a nuclear weapons program.
The Iranian regime has long ignored UN Security Council resolutions, IAEA reports and warnings, and the series of increasingly punishing sanctions imposed by the United States, European Union and many other nations.
“The P5+1 group rightly held firm on the ever-tightening measures against Iran because they recognize Iran’s nuclear program is a grave threat to global security and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty,” said Harris.
“As long as Iran refuses to demonstrate by concrete and verifiable actions a commitment to abandon its quest for nuclear weapons capability, there should not be any weakening whatsoever of sanctions. Indeed, to the contrary, there should be a further tightening, together with a statement that P5+1 patience is limited, not limitless,” Harris added.
The EU embargo on Iranian oil will go into full effect on July 1. Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved on Monday new economic sanctions. The House passed its version in December. These measures build upon the U.S. sanctions against the Central Bank of Iran and the Iranian oil sector.
Iranian negotiators came to the talks pressing for a scaling back of sanctions. In advance of the Baghdad gathering, IAEA Director Amano met with Iranian officials in Tehran and announced that an understanding had been reached on allowing IAEA inspectors to visit the Parchin nuclear site. However, no such agreement has been finalized.
The two days of talks in Baghdad talks were a follow-up to last month’s meeting in Istanbul, which was the first time Iran had met with the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany in 15 months.
SOURCE American Jewish Committee