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West and Iran in nuclear stand-off

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 25 September 2009

As President Obama accuses Iran of hiding a nuclear enrichment plant, Iran's President Ahmadinejad insists the installation is within international rules. It is no secret, he says, but adds: "We don't have to tell you everything." Sarah Smith reports.

Barack Obama (picture: Reuters)

Iran stands accused of hiding a secret nuclear enrichment plant from inspectors, as western leaders gave Tehran two months to comply or face tough sanctions.

President Barack Obama, flanked by Gordon Brown and the French president Nicolas Sarkozy, demanded that Iran cease what he called a "direct challenge" to the international community.

Unless inspectors are allowed in sanctions will follow, they said. Even Russia and China both urged Iran to cooperate.

In response the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, insisted there was no secrecy involved. But who is winning the diplomatic game? The foreign secretary tells us the world will move against Iran if it does not comply.

In a joint statement with Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy, Mr Obama said the plant represented a "direct challenge" to international non-proliferation.

He said: "This site deepens a growing concern that Iran is refusing to live up to these international responsibilities."

Mr Brown said news of the covert site had "shocked and angered" leaders.

He added: "We will not let this matter rest."

"Iran's nuclear programme is the most urgent proliferation challenge that the world faces today.

"The level of deception by the Iranian government and the scale of what we believe is the breach of international commitments will shock and anger the whole international community and it will harden our resolve."

Mr Brown said the international community must now "draw a line in the sand" and threaten Iran with further sanctions in its talks with the E3+3 states - Britain, the US, France, Germany, Russia and China - in Istanbul on 1 October.

"Confronted by serial deception over many years, the international community has no choice today but to draw a line in the sand.

"On 1 October Iran must engage with the international community and join the international community as a partner. If it doesn't do so, it will be further isolated.

"I say on behalf of the United Kingdom, we will not let this matter rest and we are prepared to implement further and more stringent sanctions.

"Iran must abandon any military ambitions for its nuclear programme."

So what more do we know about Iran's nuclear programme and if the west is forced into imposing sanctions - what options does it really have? Lindsey Hilsum reports.

Krishnan Guru-Murthy spoke to the Foreign Secretary, David Miliband and and began by asking him how long he had known about this Iranian nuclear programme.

Barack Obama, Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy reveal Iran's hidden nuclear facility.

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