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Iran sanctions may be considered - UK's Straw
Updated: 2006-01-13 16:48

The United Nations Security Council may consider imposing sanctions on Iran if it fails to comply with demands over its nuclear programme, but may look at other measures first, Britain said on Friday.

"I am not necessarily saying there will be a U.N. sanctions regime. That will be on the table," Straw told BBC Radio after Britain, France and Germany called for an emergency meeting of the U.N. nuclear watchdog to discuss Iran's resumption of research into nuclear fuel.

"There are prior stages here, and there are plenty of examples where the Security Council has made what are called Chapter Seven resolutions ... imposing obligations on a member state without the resort to sanctions.

"Obviously if Iran failed to comply, the Security Council would then consider sanctions," Straw said.

The European Union's three biggest powers said on Thursday talks with Iran to curb its nuclear programme were at an impasse and that Tehran should be hauled before the Security Council.

Iran responded on Friday saying it would end voluntary cooperation with the U.N. over its nuclear work if it was referred.

But as tensions escalated, Straw said the issue could "only be resolved by peaceful means".

He said he had never discussed the possibility of military action against Iran with anyone in the U.S. administration.

"No one is talking about invading Iran or taking military action against Iran," Straw added.

Straw said there was no categorical evidence Iran's nuclear programme was a screen for developing lethal weapons but added his "strong suspicion" was that Tehran wanted a nuclear bomb.

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