US wants emerging powers to pressurise Iran


Washington: A day after asking India and Pakistan not to have transactions like their gas pipeline with Iran, the US wants everyone, particularly emerging powers, to put pressure on Tehran to curb its nuclear ambitions.

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“I’m not familiar with any particular project, but this is part of our ongoing dialogue with countries that we are looking to place pressure on Iran,” state department spokesman P J Crowley told reporters Friday when asked about plans for an Iran-Pakistan India gas pipeline.

“And we are expecting everyone, particularly emerging powers, to play a significant role in this.”

US is currently engaged with a wide range of countries to put together a sanctions resolution against Iran. “And we will expect… the international community as a whole has to be united behind this effort and has to enforce whatever sanctions are put in place,” Crowley said.

“There are existing sanctions already in place, but we have expressed our concerns to a number of countries that have ongoing economic relations with Iran that now may not be the best time to pursue such projects,” he said.

While the US has a broad-based dialogue with both India and Pakistan “to understand and help with the respective and legitimate energy needs that countries in the region have, Washington was “also sending a very strong signal to a range of countries that have economic relations with Iran.”

“We recognize, as we’ve said many times, Iran has rights, but Iran has responsibilities,” Crowley said. “And likewise, other countries that are responsible for strengthening and protecting and safeguarding the non-proliferation system around the world also have rights and responsibilities.”

“And now is the time to become united to put pressure on Iran, to take the appropriate steps so that we can send a clear message to Iran that there’s a consequence for its clear failure to live up to its obligations,” he added.

Askedd if this also applies to Russia and China as far as sanctions and dealing with Iran was concerned, he said: “Absolutely.”

Iran has a right to a civilian nuclear programme, he acknowledged. But “The dilemma for us and for the international community is, increasingly, the actions that Iran is taking, its refusal to engage, points to the potential that it is, in fact, pursuing a military programme.”