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Powell Presses Europe for Tougher Line on Iran

The United States wants the EU to up its pressure on Tehran and move discussions to the UN Security Council, where talk of sanctions could be started.

Washington is once again pressing the EU to toughen its stance on Iran, ahead of a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Speaking in Washington on Tuesday, US Secretary of State Colin Powell said EU pressure on Iran to halt nuclear activities had not sufficiently eased fears that Tehran continues to try to produce nuclear weapons. Powell also called on the EU members of the IAEA board, which meets Sept. 13, to refer Tehran to the UN Security Council at its meeting -- a step that could precipitate punitive sanctions. IAEA inspectors are expected to once again report that Tehran has not fully disclosed its nuclear program and pressure is once again on the EU to act. The union has so far shied away from such action preferring to engage Iran diplomatically, but patience is wearing thin among some member states. (EUobserver.com)

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