UNITED NATIONS – U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday that Iran’s construction of the Qom nuclear enrichment facility violates U.N. resolutions requiring greater candor about its atomic activities, adding that Tehran must prove to the world that it has no intention of developing nuclear weapons.
Ban’s remarks placed the U.N. body squarely behind the Obama administration’s campaign to ratchet up international pressure on Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions on the eve of nuclear talks it is scheduled to hold Thursday with the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia.
Ban said he outlined his concerns in a face-to-face meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Friday and that he would press the same message in talks with Iran’s foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki.
“The burden of proof is on their side,” Ban said.
The Iranian government released a statement Tuesday saying that Ahmadinejad had criticized Ban during the meeting for parroting Western allegations against Iran without waiting for the IAEA to issue a formal judgment on Iran’s behavior.