Reuters: Representatives of six world powers trying to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions will meet in Paris on Saturday, British foreign office minister Kim Howells said in parliament on Wednesday. LONDON (Reuters) – Representatives of six world powers trying to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions will meet in Paris on Saturday, British foreign office minister Kim Howells said in parliament on Wednesday.
The meeting between the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — China, France, Russia, the United States and Britain — plus Germany will come one day after talks in London between the European Union’s foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili.
Iran said on Tuesday it would put forward “new initiatives” at the meeting with Solana on Friday but that it would not suspend sensitive nuclear work as demanded by the United Nations.
An Iranian refusal to modify its stand could bring a third round of tougher sanctions closer. The United States is pressing for sanctions but Russia and China are resisting such a move.
Two sets of mild sanctions have been slapped on Iran so far.
Howells was speaking to the British parliament’s foreign affairs committee, which also heard from the Iran coordinator at the Foreign Office that Iran had been surprised by the two previous rounds of sanctions.
“That unity (within the group of world powers) is something that we will be working hard to protect within the E3+3 (group of six) this weekend,” Anthony Phillipson said.
The United States and its European allies say Iran must suspend uranium enrichment, a process with both military and civilian uses, to enable negotiations on a solution that would include trade benefits for Tehran or face further penalties.