Oil Report

Not the time to rush for more Iran sanctions - UK

LONDON, March 31 (Reuters) - Big powers should not rush to impose new sanctions on Iran at a time when Tehran has a good chance to move to normal ties with Washington, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said on Tuesday.

In a sharp change in U.S. policy, President Barack Obama has offered a new start in relations with Iran after decades of deep mistrust between the two countries which are also locked in a dispute over Iran’s nuclear programme.

Britain, a close U.S. ally and one of the six powers that have been trying to persuade Iran to abandon uranium enrichment, has backed the new U.S. approach.

Miliband told Britain’s parliament the U.S. offer “represents the best chance Iran will ever have to normalise its relations with the rest of the world and above all to normalise its relations with the U.S.”

Asked how long Britain would wait before seeking more United Nations’ or European Union sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme, Miliband said: “Now is not the time to be rushing for more sanctions.” (Reporting by Adrian Croft; Editing by Angus MacSwan)