View Full Version : U.S. And E.U. "To Issue Iran Warning"

06-10-2008, 08:15 AM
US and EU 'to issue Iran warning'



US President George W Bush is holding talks with EU leaders in Slovenia, at the start of what is expected to be his last tour of Europe while in office.

They are set to supplement UN sanctions with "additional measures" to pressure Iran to abandon uranium enrichment, according to a draft joint statement.

These will include "steps to ensure Iranian banks cannot... support proliferation and terrorism", it says.

The talks will also focus on Zimbabwe, climate change, trade and energy.

Mr Bush will later go on to Germany, Italy, France, the Vatican and the UK.

'Carrot and stick' policy
The draft joint EU-US statement, obtained ahead of the summit at Brdo Castle, shows there will be a tough message warning Tehran not to continue defying a demand from the UN Security Council to stop the enrichment of uranium as part of its nuclear programme.

"We will fully and effectively implement" the existing UN sanctions "and we are ready to supplement those sanctions with additional measures," it says.

"We will continue to work together... to take steps to ensure Iranian banks cannot abuse the international banking system to support proliferation and terrorism."

The UN Security Council has approved three rounds of sanctions against Iran. These include asset restrictions and travel bans on Iranian individuals and companies said to be involved in nuclear work.

The sanctions also ban the sale to Iran of so-called dual-use items - items which can have either a military or civilian purpose.

Washington is now attempting to apply pressure on individual European businesses to take a harder line on Iran, the BBC's Oana Lungescu in Ljubljana says.

Barclays Bank, based in the UK, has already responded to such pressure and ended all dealings with Iran's Saderat Bank and Bank Melli, which are on the US list of Specially Designated Nationals.

All US businesses trading with anyone on the SDN list must block their accounts immediately and end any business involvement.

Tehran meanwhile has told Iranian banks to transfer assets and investments from European banks to Iran's central bank.

Observers say the move is not only to escape economic sanctions, but also part of a wider government plan to create a huge pan-Iranian bank run on Islamic principles.

The warning of sanctions is a stick Washington is keen to wield, but it is ready to give the carrot one more try, our correspondent says.

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana will go to Iran on Sunday with a "refreshed" offer of economic and political incentives.

"We affirm the dual track strategy on this issue which was reinforced by the incentives package and reiterate our belief that a mutually satisfactory, negotiated solution remains open to Iran," the summit draft statement adds.

'No illusions'
As EU leaders prepare to bid goodbye to Mr Bush, they want to focus on what unites Europe and the US, our correspondent says.

They are expected to call for an end to state-sponsored violence in Zimbabwe and to urge the UN secretary general to immediately send a team to monitor human rights.

But on some key challenges like climate change, no-one is predicting a breakthrough, she adds.

The US ambassador to the EU, C Boyden Gray, has warned Europeans not to have any illusions that Washington's position will change "magically" with a new president.

The EU has sought to lead the way by pledging to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020, while the US wants any global agreement on climate change to include commitments by fast-growing economies, such as India and China.

Ahead of the summit, Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel made reference to the possible tensions, telling reporters: "As in all relationships, the EU and US sometimes have different views."