Iran Nuclear NewsNew Iran nuclear sanctions 'in weeks'

New Iran nuclear sanctions ‘in weeks’

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Scotland on Sunday: Leading powers may have an agreement within weeks on a third UN sanctions resolution against Iran over its nuclear programme, a French diplomat said last night after talks in Paris. Scotland on Sunday

JON BOYLE AND FRANCOIS MURPHY
IN PARIS

LEADING powers may have an agreement within weeks on a third UN sanctions resolution against Iran over its nuclear programme, a French diplomat said last night after talks in Paris.

“The meeting was held in a positive spirit. The elements allow us to project that we could have a resolution in the short term,” the official said.

The official said a compromise text on a new resolution would be circulated among the six countries involved in the talks – the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany – this week. He said he was “relatively optimistic” about having a resolution in the coming weeks.

The talks were held a day after the collapse of an 18-month EU effort to persuade Iran to stop uranium enrichment. The French official called those talks “a disaster.”

On Friday, EU envoy Javier Solana held meetings with Saeed Jalili, Iran’s senior nuclear negotiator, in London. The meeting had been considered a last chance for Iran to give in to UN pressure and freeze its enrichment programme before an EU report on Iran’s nuclear programme that will be used in the discussion of new sanctions.

“Our objective remains the opening of negotiations [on Iran’s nuclear programme”>,” the official said, “but all the efforts to open negotiations are going nowhere.”

The US, France and Britain are urging quick and tough new sanctions, but statements by Russia and China have suggested they are sceptical.

But the French official insisted that there were no “deep differences” among the six countries at yesterday’s talks.

While Iran insists it has a right to peaceful use of enrichment to generate power, others fear the activity could be misused to create the core of nuclear warheads.

The UN Security Council imposed sanctions in December 2006 and March this year. The current set bans Iranian arms exports and freezes the assets of 28 people and groups involved in its nuclear and missile programmes.

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