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Blair Warns Iran Over Nuclear Program


http://gdb.rferl.org/694B11D5-7EAE-42B0-9BD7-EE94F9090143_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/694B11D5-7EAE-42B0-9BD7-EE94F9090143_mw800_mh600.jpg British Prime Minister Tony Blair (file photo) (epa) February 27, 2007 -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair has told Iran it is making a "big miscalculation" in defying United Nations demands that it halt its nuclear program.


Blair, speaking to reporters today in London, said that recent comments by Iran are "very worrying" because they reveal Tehran's intention to defy the international community.


He said Western powers are willing to talk to Iran, but that there must be some flexibility and compromise on Tehran's part.


"We are perfectly happy to talk to [Iran's leaders],” Blair said. “There is not a problem with talking to them. The question is, 'What's the conversation about?' -- given that they are saying they are not going to suspend enrichment, they are still supporting extremism in Iraq, in Lebanon, in Palestine, and they are not showing any signs that they are prepared to stop doing that."


Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki reiterated today that the country will not suspend uranium enrichment.


He said Iran is prepared to negotiate over its nuclear program but "without any preconditions."


Senior diplomats from the five permanent UN Security Council members, plus Germany, met in London on February 26 and began drafting a new Security Council resolution aimed at tightening UN sanctions on Iran.


Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful civilian purposes.


(Reuters, AP)

The Proliferation Threat

The Arak heavy-water plant in central Iran (Fars)

BENDING THE RULES. Henry Sokolski, executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, told an RFE/RL-Radio Free Asia briefing on January 9 that the West is hamstrung in dealing with Iran and North Korea because of the way it has interpreted the international nonproliferation regime to benefit friendly countries like India and Japan.


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