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US, EU pressure Iran with more sanctions -

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EMMA ALBERICI: The United States and the European Union have joined forces to step up the pressure
on Iran, threatening further sanctions unless it stops its nuclear enrichment program.

On what many expect to be his last official tour of Europe, US President George W. Bush warned Iran
that it must disclose any work it's done on nuclear weapons and must allow the International Atomic
Energy Agency to verify it.

President Bush says Iran - with a nuclear weapon - would be incredibly dangerous to world peace.

But analysts say the talk of further sanctions will only embolden Iran.

Sara Everingham reports.

SARA EVERINGHAM: The United States and the European Union have lost patience with Iran.

At the end of the joint summit in Slovenia US President George W. Bush issued a warning to Tehran,
suspend your nuclear enrichment program or face further economic sanctions.

GEORGE W. BUSH: Iran with a nuclear weapon would be incredibly dangerous for world peace.

SARA EVERINGHAM: On Sunday the EU's Foreign Policy chief Javier Solana will go to Tehran with an
improved package of economic incentives.

The US is supporting that action but if Mr Solana fails the US wants tougher sanctions.

And In a joint statement released today by the EU and US, there's a threat of targeting Iranian
banks within Europe which the Americans believe are funding proliferation.

GEORGE W. BUSH: We're going to continue to isolate you, we'll continue to work on sanctions, we'll
fund new sanctions if need be if you continue to deny the just demands of a free world, which is to
give up your enrichment program.

SARA EVERINGHAM: But on the streets of Tehran one resident was sceptical about the President's
intentions.

RESIDENT: (translated) an hour ago I was watching Bush's speech in Slovenia, and as usual he
targeted Iran in his address.

I think Bush is only after starting a new war and over the past 7.5 years which he has been in
power he has always considered Iran a threat. However I do not believe that the Iranian nuclear
program is a threat to the world.

SARA EVERINGHAM: And some question what difference further economic sanctions will make.

Associate Professor of Arab and Islamic studies Shahram Akbarzadeh at the University of Melbourne
doesn't believe they would have the desired effect but he's not surprised by the US and EU's
threats.

SHAHRAM AKBARZADEH: The European Union has been very patient with Iran - It has been trying to find
some way of negotiating and bring Iran to the negotiating table but Iran has persistently refused
to satisfy International communities' calls for greater access to Iranian nuclear facilities.

SARA EVERINGHAM: What impact would sanctions from the EU have on Iran?

SHAHRAM AKBARZADEH: Well you have to appreciate that Iran is already under sanctions. There were
sanctions that were put on Iran by the US after the revolution and after the hostage taking in
Tehran 1979, and there are three sets of sanctions put on Iran by the United Nations for Iran's
failure to fully disclose its nuclear activities in Iran. So sanctions are not new and Iran will
cope. There are, there will be difficulties, but Iran will cope with sanctions so that's not going
to be a major deterrent.

SARA EVERINGHAM: A report by the CIA has found that Iran stopped pursuing a nuclear weapons program
in 2003.

But many in the international community remain unconvinced.

Associate Professor Shahram Akbarzadeh again.

SHAHRAM AKBARZADEH: Well it's very difficult to ascertain that, given that Iran would not be
forthcoming to the International Atomic Energy Agency and that is the crock of the problem.

Iran needs to provide full access, unhindered access, to all it's nuclear facilities top the
international community in order to ascertain whether Iran is perusing nuclear weapons or not.

EMMA ALBERICI: Shahram Akbarzadeh, Associate Professor of Arab and Islamic Studies from the
University of Melbourne speaking with Sara Everingham.