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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 May 2006, 07:01 GMT 08:01 UK
No plan to attack Iran - Beckett
Margaret Beckett
Margaret Beckett took over from Jack Straw as Foreign Secretary
No-one has the intention to take military action against Iran, new UK Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett has said after talks at the UN in New York.

But she refused to repeat her predecessor Jack Straw's insistence that such action was "inconceivable".

It comes as foreign ministers from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany discussed a response to Iran's nuclear programme.

Mrs Beckett said the possible wording of a UN resolution was not debated.

She said there was clear agreement that nobody wanted Iran to develop nuclear weapons.

It's not anybody's intention to take the course of military action
Margaret Beckett

An initial meeting between the foreign ministers was held on Monday evening - three days after Mrs Beckett became foreign secretary in Tony Blair's Cabinet reshuffle.

Officials said the talks were strategic, and not an attempt to agree on a UN Security Council resolution. They will continue on Tuesday.

Asked whether she believed a military strike on Iran was inconceivable - the word used repeatedly by her predecessor, Mr Straw - Mrs Beckett said: "No-one has the intention to take military action.

"That was not discussed, it's not an issue."

"What people are concerned to do is to get Iran to recognise the strong view and the clear will of the international community that they should comply with the IEAE (International Atomic Energy Agency) board," said Mrs Beckett.

The foreign secretary added: "You're inviting me to tread down the path of talking about military action - I'm not going to do that.

"Everybody expresses their views, their stance, in their own way. The way that I choose to express it is that it's not anybody's intention to take the course of military action.

"That I think is simple and straightforward and clear."


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