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Gates foresees 'significant' new sanctions on Iran

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said onj Friday that he expects "significant" new sanctions to be imposed on Iran over its controversial nuclear programme.

world Updated: Dec 11, 2009 16:51 IST

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said onj Friday that he expects "significant" new sanctions to be
imposed on Iran over its controversial nuclear programme.

"I think that you are going to see some significant additional sanctions imposed by the international community,
assuming that the Iranians don't change course and agree to do the things they agreed to at the beginning of October," Gates told a group of US soldiers in Kirkuk, Iraq.

"Iran is stiffing the international community on some of the proposals that they agreed to at the beginning of
October," he said. "That has brought the international community, including the Russians and the Chinese, together in
a way they haven't been."

He was alluding to a UN-brokered deal under which Iran would have exported part of its low-enriched uranium, which
would have been further refined and returned as fuel for a research reactor in Tehran. Iran rejected the deal.

Iran says it wants to develop a civil energy programme and has rejected attempts to force it to stop enrichment or
farm out enrichment work abroad to fuel the research reactor.

The United States, another permanent council member along with Britain and France, has never ruled out force.
Gates repeated Washington's long-standing position today.

"You never take any option off the table " but "any military action would only buy some time, maybe two to three years," he said.