Iran Nuclear NewsGermany urges new Iran sanctions, talks set

Germany urges new Iran sanctions, talks set

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Reuters: Germany believes a new U.N. resolution imposing sanctions against Iran is needed and has invited other major powers to a meeting next Tuesday in Berlin to discuss the matter, a foreign ministry spokesman said. BERLIN, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Germany believes a new U.N. resolution imposing sanctions against Iran is needed and has invited other major powers to a meeting next Tuesday in Berlin to discuss the matter, a foreign ministry spokesman said.

“We believe such a resolution is necessary,” spokesman Martin Jaeger told a regular government news conference.

“There is a plan for such a meeting, the foreign minister invited his colleagues and we are in the process of checking whether everyone can make it,” he added.

Jaeger said German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his counterparts from the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council were expected to take part.

Steinmeier will travel to Vienna on Thursday to meet International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Mohamed ElBaradei.

ElBaradei held rare talks with Iranian leaders in Tehran last week to seek swifter cooperation with the U.N. watchdog’s long-running inquiry into Iran’s nuclear programme.

The West fears Tehran is seeking a nuclear weapon but Iran says its nuclear programme is solely for power generation.

Steinmeier is expected to question ElBaradei on the details of his two-day trip, during which the IAEA chief secured an Iranian deal to answer remaining questions within a month about past secret nuclear work that had military applications.

The IAEA confirmed the ElBaradei-Steinmeier meeting but declined further comment. A senior diplomat accredited to the agency said ElBaradei was likely to convey “his positive assessment” that Iran was helping resolve lingering issues.

Iran said late last year after starting to answer questions, following years of stonewalling, that broader sanctions could cause it to stop cooperating. ElBaradei has said sanctions alone will not resolve the standoff, rather more diplomacy was needed.

China and Russia have been balking at further sanctions resolutions against Iran, particularly after a U.S. intelligence estimate last month said Tehran had given up its nuclear weapons programme in 2003.

Several diplomats said the Russians in particular had issues with the proposed sanctioning of two more Iranian banks, Bank Melli and Bank Saderat. A previous resolution imposed sanctions on Iran’s Bank Sepah. (Additional reporting by Mark Heinrich in Vienna; Writing by Noah Barkin; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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