UK DOESN'T RULE OUT MILITARY ACTIONS AGAINST IRAN
- UK foreign secretary insisted all options were on the table over Tehran's "increasingly dangerous" development of atomic weapons. But he said Britain's preferred route was to step up sanctions rather than use force in a bid to bring the Islamic republic to the negotiating table.
"We have never ruled anything out," William Hague said. "But we are clearly not calling for or advocating military action. We are advocating meaningful negotiations, if Iran will enter into them, and the increasing pressure of sanctions to try to get some flexibility from Iran."
Mr Hague warned of being "starry-eyed" about embargoes. "Sanctions policies do not always succeed," he added. "But this is the best means we have of increasing the pressure," Metro.co.uk quoted him as saying.
European officials have worked for several months on banning the purchase of Iranian oil, and are expected to agree to the measures at a meeting of foreign ministers on Jan 23.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said the new sanctions would help to choke off funding to Iran's nuclear program. Westerwelle also dismissed discussion of possible military action if Iran continue to defy international demands to halt its weapons work.
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe has said new European sanctions could also target its Central Bank.
Tensions with the West have increased following last week's assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist, recent missile tests and an attack on Britain's embassy in Tehran in November, The Washington Post reported.
- -356 Birth of Alexander the Great. Although the borders of his empire did not include Armenia, his cultural legacy was deeply felt in Armenia.
- 1892 Birth of the Armenian-French writer Hratsh Zardaryan.
- 1894 Birth of writer Mateos Zarifian.
- 1906 Birth of architect Hrayr Isabekyan in Igdir.
- 1924 The former Military Administration Square is renamed Lenin Square. Presently, it is Republic Square.