Britain warned Iran on Wednesday it will suffer growing economic and political isolation if it makes the “wrong choice” and fails to comply with United Nations resolutions on curbing its nuclear programme.
“The diplomatic track has to work — the alternatives are appalling,” British Foreign Secretary David Miliband wrote in a commentary in the International Herald Tribune newspaper.
Western powers suspect Iran, the world's fourth-largest oil exporter, of seeking to build nuclear arms. Tehran denies this, saying its nuclear programme is for peaceful power generation. The standoff between the West and Iran has sparked fears of a military confrontation that would disrupt oil supplies.
Miliband insisted the diplomatic “dual track" approach — combining increasing sanctions with the prize of economic and political cooperation if Tehran complies — can still succeed.
“So we will continue to offer a clear choice: Come into compliance with the U.N. resolutions and be part of the international community, or remain in breach and suffer growing political and economic isolation,” he wrote.
On Monday, the 27-nation European Union agreed new punitive measures against Iran targeting businesses and individuals the West says are linked to Tehran's nuclear programmes.