New Western concerns over Iran’s nuclear program

The United States, Britain and France expressed growing concern Wednesday that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program and developing ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

The three Western powers were joined by Russia and China, which have close ties to Iran, in calling on the government in Tehran to return to negotiations on its nuclear program. China’s deputy U.N. ambassador Wang Ming said, without elaborating, that “at present new opportunities have emerged for restarting dialogue.”

The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council spoke after a briefing by the head of the committee monitoring sanctions against Iran. The council imposed a fourth round of sanctions against Iran in June for refusing to suspend uranium enrichment and start negotiations with the five permanent members and Germany.