Iran Nuclear NewsSix world powers meet next week on Iran sanctions

Six world powers meet next week on Iran sanctions

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Reuters: Senior officials from six world powers will meet in Europe next week to discuss new U.N. sanctions against Iran over its refusal to abandon key nuclear work, the U.S. State Department said on Wednesday. WASHINGTON, Oct 10 (Reuters) – Senior officials from six world powers will meet in Europe next week to discuss new U.N. sanctions against Iran over its refusal to abandon key nuclear work, the U.S. State Department said on Wednesday.

“They will talk about elements of language that will comprise a (U.N.) sanctions resolution,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters in announcing the meeting, whose exact location in Europe is not yet fixed.

U.S. Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns would represent the United States at the Oct. 17 meeting, also attended by political directors from the other five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, Russia, France, Britain and China, as well as Germany.

The meeting comes as Russia is voicing greater public skepticism over a third round of sanctions against Iran, which says its nuclear work is aimed at generating electricity and not building a bomb.

China, which like Russia has veto power on the Security Council, is also reluctant to impose new sanctions.

On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he had not seen any real evidence Iran was trying to build a nuclear weapon and his foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, was quoted as saying it would be “irresponsible” to make any sudden moves on Tehran.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates will be in Moscow on Friday for talks with their Russian counterparts on Iran and other issues.

“The fact of the matter is that the world is convinced, to its satisfaction, that Iran is on its way to developing a nuclear weapon. It (Iran) does not have a peaceful nuclear energy program as it says it does,” said McCormack when asked about Putin’s comments.

McCormack said while Moscow and Washington had “tactical” differences about the timing of more sanctions, Russia still backed the United States and others in calling for further punitive measures if Iran failed to give up uranium enrichment.

“We believe that Russia is on board,” said McCormack. “Absolutely, we are fully confident of that, up and down all levels of the Russian government,” he added.

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