WASHINGTON – US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice told the Security Council Thursday that her country's "concerns about Iran’s nuclear program have only deepened".
The five permanent members of the council met for a scheduled debate following the implementation of a third round of sanctions on the Islamic Republic, but seemed no closer to a decision on how to handle the matter despite unanimously agreeing that Iran was violating international law.
Rice extolled more severe sanctions, and was seconded by France and Britain. However Russia continued to swerve between the need for more diplomacy and Iran's refusal to comply with the West, and China adamantly refused to back additional sanctions.
"The IAEA Director General's latest report once again concludes that Iran is not complying with its IAEA and Security Council obligations—obligations that are essential to building confidence in Iran’s assertion that its nuclear program is for exclusively peaceful purposes," Rice said.
But Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said the situation was complex and that there was still room for diplomacy. He called on Iran to renew dialogue with the West and said this would be in its own interest.
The Chinese ambassador said sanctions would not resolve the tension surrounding Iran's nuclear program. He said the talks had run into some difficulty, but that they could still succeed.
British Ambassador Mark Grant agreed with Rice, and said new sanctions must be imposed on Iran in order to convince the regime that the price of its nuclear program was not worth the fee. French Ambassador Jean Maurice Ripert said the West had no choice but to impose sanctions.