Sanctions on Iran may come in February, Merkel says
February was a crucial month for United Nations in pushing toward sanctions on Iran for its controversial nuclear program, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday, after talking with visiting Israeli President Shimon Peres, Xinhua reported.
"The issue of sanctions on Iran will be on the agenda when France has the chair of the UN Security Council," Merkel said at a joint press conference with Peres after their meeting. "I think February will be the crucial month."
She stressed that Germany wants a diplomatic solution, rather than a military one, over the dispute of Iran's nuclear program, and any sanctions should first be agreed "over the widest possible basis" within the United Nations.
However, she also noted that if countries failed to reach a consensus in the Security Council, countries with similar thoughts "should aimed for the same result."
On Monday, the chancellor warned that "time is running out" for Iran to give nod to inspections from the international community, and "it would be a tragedy for the people of Iran" if their government rejected cooperation.
Germany is one of the main negotiating countries to persuade Iran to stop enriching uranium, which Iran claims is for civilian energy purposes, but some western countries suspected it as an attempt to build nuclear weapons.
The Security Council has adopted three resolutions imposing sanctions on Iran for its refusal to cease nuclear processing activities and cooperate with UN inspectors since 2006.