AFP: Representatives of the six major powers involved in talks over Iran’s nuclear programme met in London Friday and again urged Tehran to end the stand-off through diplomacy, a Foreign Office spokesman said. LONDON (AFP) Representatives of the six major powers involved in talks over Iran’s nuclear programme met in London Friday and again urged Tehran to end the stand-off through diplomacy, a Foreign Office spokesman said.
Political directors from the “E3” of Britain, France and Germany, plus the United States, Russia and China called on European foreign policy chief Javier Solana to hold fresh talks with Iran’s negotiator Saeed Jalili and report back.
“They reiterated their commitment to negotiate a long-term solution to the Iranian nuclear issue and urged Iran to take up their offer of negotiation made by the E3 plus three in June 2006 and repeated since then,” the spokesman said.
They also backed the drive for a third UN Security Council resolution and a vote on Iran, unless forthcoming reports from Solana and the head of the UN’s atomic watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei, showed “a positive outcome”, he added.
The political directors will assess the reports at their next meeting on November 19, the spokesman said.
As the six met, supporters of the exiled opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran demonstrated outside the Foreign Office in central London, urging further sanctions against the Islamic republic.
They also called on Britain, France and Germany to follow the United States’ lead after it unilaterally imposed fresh restrictions on Iran last Thursday. They also handed in a petition to Britain’s Foreign Secretary David Miliband.
Washington said it was targeting the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which it accused of spreading weapons of mass destruction, and its elite Quds Force, which it designated as a supporter of terrorism.
It also blacklisted three Iranian state-owned banks and companies controlled by the guards as well as the logistics arm of Iran’s defence ministry.
Iran insists its uranium enrichment activities are for legitimate public energy needs but the West, particularly the United States, suspects it is a front for developing a nuclear weapons capability.