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UN Sec. Gen.-Designate Ban Urges Iran on Talks
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon

UN Secretary General-designate Ban Ki-moon, in a television interview broadcast on Dec. 24, 2006 urged Tehran to resume stalled talks with three European powers.

"I urge the Iranian government authorities to engage in the negotiation with' Britain, France and Germany, the three countries which led more than two years of fruitless talks with the Iranians to scale back their nuclear ambitions, Ban told ABC television, in an interview taped before Iran was hit with UN nuclear-related sanctions on Dec. 23.

"The Iranian nuclear issue has great implications on regional and global issues,"' said the former South Korean foreign minister who is to succeed Kofi Annan as UN chief on January 1.

On Dec. 23, the 15-member UN Security Council unanimously passed a resolution, sponsored by Britain, France and Germany, mandating sanctions targeting Iran's sensitive nuclear and ballistic missile programs over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities.

But a defiant Iran vowed on Dec. 24 to start work immediately on drastically expanding its capacity to enrich uranium.

Its top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani said work would start as early as Sunday on installing 3,000 uranium enriching centrifuges at a key nuclear plant

Former South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon took the oath of office recently as he prepared to succeed Kofi Annan as the next United Nations Secretary General on January the 1st.

Mr Ban is the 8th United Nations Secretary General and the 2nd Asian to take the post after U Thant of Burma who headed the UN from 1961 to 1971.

The term of a UN Secretary General is five years, but most of the diplomats who served as head of the United Nations have their terms extended.

However, there have been exceptions including Trygvie Lie who resigned, well-loved Dag Hammarskjold who died in a plane accident, and Boutros-Boutros Ghali whose bid for his 2nd term failed when the United States nominated a last minute candidate who eventually won the appointment - current outgoing Secretary General, Kofi Annan.
Mr Annan went on to serve 2 terms, and is regarded as the only UN leader who worked his way up the ranks.






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