UNITED NATIONS -- The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations has called for full implementation of sanctions on Iran in order to slow their nuclear program at a UN Security Council briefing on December 21.
Speaking in New York at a UN briefing, Susan Rice said a report issued in November by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) left little doubt that Iran's nuclear program is not solely for peaceful purposes.
"The council therefore must redouble its efforts to implement the sanctions already imposed. Full implementation of these measures will show Iran there is a price to be paid for its deception," Rice said.
"Full implementation can also slow down Iran's nuclear progress, buying us more time to resolve this crisis through diplomatic means."
Rice also voiced concern over Tehran's continued flouting of its international nuclear obligations, and cited what she said was Iran's "self-proclaimed intention to start enrichment at the underground Qom facility, perhaps as soon as this month."
She noted that the nuclear facility near the holy city was kept secret from the international community until it was discovered two years ago.
Iran's plan to consolidate its production of uranium, enriched to a level near 20 percent, Rice said, would bring it significantly closer to being able to produce highly enriched uranium, which, the IAEA report concluded, is "relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device."