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U.S. Official Wary Of Iran's 'Radical' Behavior

Nicholas Burns (file photo) (epa) 1 December 2005 -- A senior United States diplomat has urged the international community to put pressure on Iran in reaction to what the official describes as Tehran's increasingly "radical" behavior.

Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said in a speech on 30 November in Washington that Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, since coming to power four months ago, has pursued a confrontational foreign policy, an irresponsible nuclear-weapons program, has supported terrorism, and denied basic human rights to the Iranian people.

Burns said the world community could use diplomatic and trade pressure to convince Iranian hardliners that there is a price to pay for what he called their "misguided policies."

He said the United States is working closely with European countries, Russia, India, China and other countries with the hope of forming a coalition to deter Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Iran denies supporting terrorism and rejects allegations that it is secretly developing nuclear weapons, saying its nuclear program is for peaceful energy purposes only.

No date has been set for a possible resumption of nuclear talks between Iran and the European Union troika of Britain, France, and Germany. However, Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki, speaking in Ankara on 30 November, said, ""Preliminary nuclear negotiations between Iran and the European Union will start within two weeks."


Iran's Nuclear Program

Iran's Nuclear Program

THE COMPLETE PICTURE: RFE/RL's complete coverage of controversy surrounding Iran's nuclear program.


An annotated timeline of Iran's nuclear program.