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. Britain to press for more sanctions if Iran sticks with nuclear plans: FM
LONDON, July 9 (AFP) Jul 09, 2007
Britain will press for a third UN resolution that tightens sanctions on Iran if it continues to defy Western pressure to suspend uranium enrichment, the country's new foreign secretary said in an interview published Monday.

Speaking to the Financial Times in London, David Miliband also refused to repeat a guarantee made by one of his predecessors, Jack Straw, that military action against Iran was "inconceivable".

Iran "doesn't have the right to set off a nuclear arms race in the Middle East," Miliband told the business daily, adding that Iran "has every right to be a secure rich country".

"We are ready to work with our partners on a third resolution. We think it's very, very important that the international community remains clear and united on this issue."

While refusing to repeat Straw's comments, Miliband said: "I think the whole of the international community wants a non-military, diplomatic solution to this problem."

"I don't think it does any good to speculate any wider than that."

Iran has so far rejected any halt in its enrichment work, to which it claims a right in what it says is a peaceful effort to generate electricity, in accord with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The United States claims however that Iran is using this programme as a cover for the secret development of nuclear weapons.

The UN Security Council could toughen Iran sanctions, which now target people and institutions involved in its nuclear and missiles programmes, and impose travel bans, freezing of bank accounts and inspections of Iranian cargo ships and aircraft.

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