UK PM says Iran sanctions still needed

Iran Materials 14 December 2007 11:21 (UTC +04:00)

( AP ) - Sanctions against Iran are still necessary despite a U.S. intelligence finding that Tehran has abandoned its pursuit of nuclear weapons, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Thursday.

Brown, who has pushed for stronger sanctions to target Iran's oil and gas industries, said the Iranian regime has not offered a full explanation of why it is enriching uranium.

The United States and allies have long claimed Iran's nuclear program is a cover for the development of nuclear weapons. Tehran insists it is seeking to generate electricity.

"The world is right to insist by sanctions that Iran comes back into line," Brown told a parliamentary committee.

His comments follow a U.S. National Intelligence Estimate, released Dec. 3, which concluded Tehran suspended its nuclear weapons program four years ago and has shown no signs of resuming it.

Brown also urged Serbia to strike a deal on the future of Kosovo.

He said Serbia's aim of joining the European Union could hinge on its acceptance of the right of Kosovo to win independence. Britain favors managed independence for Kosovo with guarantees on the rights of the ethnic Serb minority, he said.

"I think that the long-term interests of Serbia really depends on it recognizing that that relationship with Europe is put at risk if we cannot get a solution to the Kosovan issues," Brown said.