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. Bush welcomes 'strong' Security Council resolution on Iran
MIAMI, July 31 (AFP) Jul 31, 2006
US President George W. Bush on Monday hailed the UN Security Council's "strong resolution" ordering Tehran to halt controversial nuclear work by August 31 or face possible sanctions.

"It's a strong resolution. I want to thank our partners. This resolution follows up on the North Korea resolution," Bush said during a visit here.

"The Iranians must hear loud and clear with this resolution, the world is intent upon working together to make sure that they do not end up with a nuclear weapon or the know-how to build a nuclear weapon," said Bush.

"I want to thank our allies on this very important resolution and remind the American people that we've had a strategy in place to send a common message, a unified message, to the Iranian leadership," said the president.

Resolution 1696, adopted by a vote of 14-1, expressed "serious concern" at Iran's refusal to comply with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) orders to halt uranium enrichment and other work that could lead to a nuclear bomb.

But the text stopped short of an immediate threat of sanctions, which have been opposed by Russia and China, and said punitive action would have to be the subject of further discussions.

In San Francisco, a spokesman for visiting British Prime Minister Tony Blair also expressed satisfaction at the Security Council's action.

"We welcome the fact that the Security Council has passed the resolution on Iran," said the spokesman, who spoke on condition of anonymity in accordance with standard British practice.

"That's both significant and welcome, and we hope that Iran abides by what the Security Council says."

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