June 1, 2010 / 12:27 PM / 9 years ago

France urges rapid adoption of Iran sanctions

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks during a ceremony to mark the Fourth National Anniversary of Nuclear Technology, in Tehran April 9, 2010. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl

PARIS (Reuters) - A report by a U.N. watchdog saying Iran is stepping up uranium enrichment measures leaves world powers no alternative but to push for new sanctions, France’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

“In light of the report, the Six (five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany) have no choice but to seek the rapid adoption of a new sanctions resolution,” ministry spokesman Bernard Valero told reporters at a regular news briefing.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a report on Monday that Iran was preparing extra equipment to enrich uranium to higher levels and continues to stockpile nuclear material.

The findings follow a deal brokered by Brazil and Turkey earlier this month under which Iran agreed to ship 1.2 tonnes of its low-enriched uranium stockpile abroad in return for fuel for a medical research reactor.

The deal, which resurrected an earlier IAEA proposal brokered by France, Russia and the United States and rejected by Tehran, was designed to allay fears that Iran is developing nuclear weapons capabilities.

Iran denies it is trying to build an atom bomb.

The new IAEA report showed Iran’s low-enriched uranium stockpile had grown to 2.4 tonnes, so that even if the 1.2 tonnes were shipped now it would still leave Iran with enough material for a nuclear weapon if enriched to higher levels.

“The (IAEA) report demonstrates a complete lack of progress on the various subjects that are at the core of the international community’s concerns over Iran’s nuclear programme,” France’s Foreign Ministry said in a written statement on Tuesday.

The ministry called for Iran to comply immediately with the resolutions of the U.N. security council and the IAEA board of governors and to cooperate with the international community to calm suspicions over its nuclear enrichment activities.

Reporting by Vicky Buffery; Editing by James Mackenzie

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