1938 Alert: “Blair says West likely to sanction Iran,” from AP, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
TEHRAN, Iran – British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Wednesday that Western countries were likely to seek economic sanctions against Iran after Tehran restarted its nuclear program, but a powerful cleric said it would not curtail its research.
Iran on Tuesday broke U.N. seals at a uranium enrichment plant and said it was resuming nuclear research after a two-year freeze. Enriched uranium can be used as a fuel for both nuclear energy and nuclear weapons.
“I think the first thing to do is to secure agreement for a reference to the Security Council, if that is indeed what the allies jointly decide, as I think seems likely,” Blair told the House of Commons, adding that he was in close contact with Washington on the issue.
“We obviously don’t rule out any measures at all,” Blair said when asked about possible sanctions. “It’s important Iran recognizes how seriously the international community treats it.”
In Moscow, the Foreign Ministry said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had discussed the issue with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and both sides shared “a deep disappointment” over Iran’s move. White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Tuesday that if Iran continued on its present course, “there is no other choice but to refer the matter to the Security Council,” which could impose sanctions.
In Iran’s first response to the international outcry, former President Hashemi Rafsanjani said he was “astonished” by the West’s attempt to “bully” Iran.
“If they cause any disturbance, they will ultimately regret it,” he warned.
Someone certainly will.