JAKARTA, Mar 14: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice today (Mar 14, 2006) said she was confident the UN Security Council would agree on a ''very strong message'' to send to Iran over its suspected nuclear weapons programme.
Rice, on a two-day trip to Indonesia, predicted there would be a strong international consensus over Iran in the UN Security Council, even though China and Russia have failed so far to support the text of a council statement that calls on Iran to suspend uranium enrichment the West believes is a cover for building a nuclear bomb.
All 15 members of the Security Council will be briefed today on a statement that Britain, France and the United States want the council to adopt in response to a report on Iran's programs by the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency delivered last Wednesday.
Rice said the United States, the Europeans, the Chinese and the Russians were still in discussion over what action to take against Iran in the council.
''I am quite certain that when everyone has a chance to think about the importance of sending Iran a very strong message --- that it is time for Iran to heed the call (to cease its nuclear weapons plan),'' said Rice.
''I am quite certain we will find the appropriate vehicle for stressing the international community's solidarity (over Iran),'' said Rice.
She said the Iranians had done nothing to demonstrate to the world that they should not be referred to the Security Council, where they could ultimately face sanctions -- although realistically that could be a long way off.
''There is no one in a responsible community of states that wants to see them have a nuclear weapon,'' added Rice.
Russia and China have been uneasy about involving the Security Council over Iran because the council has the authority to impose sanctions, which they oppose.
Speaking at the same news conference, Indonesia's Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda urged Iran to resume nuclear talks both with European powers handing Tehran's nuclear dossier and to consider a proposal put forward by Russia.
Iran, which denies it is trying to make a nuclear weapon, has so far rejected an offer from Moscow to enrich Iranian uranium on Russian soil.
Russia and Iran resumed nuclear talks yesterday, according to an Iranian official, suggesting there could still be life in Moscow's proposal.
''We hope the current situation will be resolved peacefully and time must be given for the peaceful resolution of this issue,'' said Wirajuda.
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