AFP
Last updated: 27 January, 2012

UN chief: “Onus on Iran” to prove their nuclear intentions

UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Friday urged Tehran to halt its nuclear programme and to resume talks with Western powers, saying that the onus is on Iran to prove its good intentions.

“There is no other alternative to addressing this crisis than peaceful resolution through dialogue,” said Ban the sidelines of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting at the Swiss ski resort of Davos.

Ban’s comments came after Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insisted Tehran was not dodging negotiations and was ready to sit down with world powers — Britain China, France, Russia, the United States, and Germany for talks.

The six world powers are waiting for Tehran to reply to an October letter sent by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton that stresses that discussions should focus on the “key question” of the Iranian nuclear issue.

Previous talks held a year ago in Istanbul ended without progress.

“Iran should comply with the relevant Security Council resolutions. They have to prove themselves, that their nuclear development programme is genuinely for peaceful purposes which they have not done yet,” Ban said.

“The onus is on the Iranian side,” added the UN secretary general.

The UN chief said he was “deeply concerned” by a recent IAEA report which found that Tehran’s programme may include a military dimension. The UN atomic watchdog will try to check this during a January 29-31 visit to Iran.