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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Britain warns Iran over nuclear programme at UN meeting

British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Wednesday warned his Iranian counterpart that Britain would resist any increase in Iran's nuclear capabilities, during a meeting at the UN in New York.

Hague told Ali Akbar Salehi there were "important areas of disagreement" between the two countries, but that there was no inherent hostility in Britain towards the Middle East nation, a Foreign Office (FCO) statement said.

"The Foreign Secretary emphasised that there was no animosity between the British people and the Iranian people," a foreign office spokesman explained.

The British ministry stressed that it respected Iran's right to civil nuclear power, but that Iran "had not persuaded the international community that its nuclear programme was for peaceful purposes."

Britain would "maintain its strong resolve to oppose nuclear proliferation," and would back the UN's mission to make sure Iran's nuclear programme did not take on military dimensions, said the spokesman. more