Reuters: Senior officials from six world powers met in Berlin on Thursday to discuss Iran’s defiance of U.N. demands that it stop uranium enrichment work the West believes is at the centre of a secret atom-bomb plan. BERLIN, May 10 (Reuters) – Senior officials from six world powers met in Berlin on Thursday to discuss Iran’s defiance of U.N. demands that it stop uranium enrichment work the West believes is at the centre of a secret atom-bomb plan.
The United Nations has already imposed limited sanctions after Tehran rejected resolutions ordering it to freeze the work. Iran says its nuclear programme is purely for electricity to benefit its economy, particularly to export more oil and gas.
Political directors from the five permanent U.N. Security Council members — the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China — plus Germany assessed the situation on the sidelines of a Group of Eight (G8) meeting in Berlin.
An official at the U.S. embassy confirmed that the meeting was over and that Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns would be leaving Berlin shortly and heading to Croatia.
It was not immediately clear what decisions, if any, were made at the closed-door meeting. Diplomats from countries participating said the Americans had been eager to discuss possible language for a new sanctions resolution.
However, a spokesman in Germany’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday new sanctions would not be discussed. He said they would prepare for the next meeting between EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani.
Solana met Larijani last month and said the meeting was very difficult as Iran had said it had no intention of suspending uranium enrichment.
In a briefing for reporters at the U.S. embassy on Wednesday Burns gave no deadline for Iran to suspend enrichment but said if Tehran had not moved by the G8 summit on June 6-8, it would be time to increase sanctions.
Discussions on Iran will continue in Berlin during a G8 political directors meeting to prepare for the summit in Heiligendamm, Germany.