Italy gives Iran 1-day ultimatum
During joint press conference with Italian counterpart, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni tells journalists, ‘It is time for sanctions on Iran and the sooner the better.’ D’Alema says Security Council will take up issue again if Tehran continues to refuse to acquiesce to demands to halt uranium enrichment
Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema demanded Friday that Iran respond to the international community’s plea to halt uranium enrichment by Saturday, in anticipation of tomorrow’s meeting between UN foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani.
If they fail to respond to international demands, the matter should be taken up by the United Nations Security Council again, D’Alema said during a press conference in Tel Aviv following a meeting with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.
Livni, D'Alema address press (Photo: Niv Calderon)
Livni told reporters that Iran was trying to earn time, “to find cracks” in the international community’s stance, and especially in the European Union. An Iran that has nuclear arms is not only Israel’s problem but is the problem of the whole international community, Livni stressed.
The Security Council has already made its decision regarding Iran (Resolution 1669), Livni noted, “and it is time for sanctions and the sooner the better.”
D’Alema, who is in Israel for a series of visits, stated, “This is the time for answers. The fact that the Iranians are reporting a series of meetings with European countries does not constitute justification to delay their response. Any negative answer from Iran will lead the matter to be taken up again by the Security Council.”
“As far as Italy is concerned, the right time for Iran to give an answer is tomorrow,” he said. “We share Israel’s concern regarding Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s severe statements. This concern is not only Israel’s, but the whole international community’s.
“Regarding sanctions on Iran, I trust the UNSC’s judgment, while will discuss the issue if and when it has a negative answer to its demand to halt uranium enrichment,” he added.