Iran risks more sanctions over nuclear program: White House
WASHINGTON, April 8 (AFP) Apr 08, 2008
The White House on Tuesday warned Iran it risked further isolation and new international sanctions after refusing to comply with UN Security Council resolutions over its disputed nuclear program.
White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said he could not verify the accuracy of Iran's statement that it had started work to install 6,000 new centrifuges to enrich uranium at its main nuclear plan in Natanz.
But he said it was not surprising.
"The Iranian government continues to be in violation of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions and with each step it takes it continues to isolate its people and risk further international financial and diplomatic sanctions," he said.
The announcement came as Iran marked its "national day of nuclear technology" on the second anniversary of its first production of uranium sufficiently enriched to make atomic fuel.
Iran has already installed around 3,000 P1 centrifuges at an underground enrichment facility at Natanz, in central Iran, according to the latest report by the UN nuclear watchdog, and tripling this number would mark a major expansion of its nuclear capacities.
The West fears Iran could use enriched uranium to make a nuclear weapon, and Tehran's refusal to suspend the process has been punished with three sets of UN Security Council sanctions and US pressure on its banking system.
Despite Iran's latest defiance, White House press secretary Dana Perino said global pressure has had an impact on the Islamic regime.
"We do know that it does have an impact when we speak with one voice in the international community to put sanctions on a country like Iran," she told reporters.
"What we have decided to do as a community, as an international community is continue to keep that pressure on," she said.
The message to Iran's government, she said, is "that we have a huge problem with them not being fully transparent with what they want to do with this enrichment."All rights reserved. © 2005 Agence France-Presse. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presse.