AP: Senior diplomats from six world powers are to meet this week to discuss stalled efforts to impose new sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, a senior U.S. official said Tuesday.
The Associated Press
By MATTHEW LEE
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senior diplomats from six world powers are to meet this week to discuss stalled efforts to impose new sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, a senior U.S. official said Tuesday.
Thursday's meeting in Paris will bring together high-level foreign ministry officials from the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — and Germany, the official said. The U.S. will be represented by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns, the official said.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because there has not yet been a formal announcement of the meeting, which may be the last of its kind while the Bush administration is in office.
In its final months, the administration has been hitting Iran, particularly its banking and finance sectors, with a host of new U.S. sanctions over its refusal to halt suspect nuclear activity like uranium enrichment that Washington and its allies say are aimed at developing atomic weapons. Iran says the work is to produce power, not bombs.
Despite the administration's stepped-up actions and support from its European allies, they have not yet been able to convince Russia and China of the need for new United Nations sanctions on Iran. Iran is already under three sets of U.N. Security Council sanctions and efforts to pass a fourth have been stymied by Moscow and Beijing.
The six-nation group has been pursuing a so-called "dual-track strategy" to persuade Iran to give up objectionable parts of its nuclear program. It offers Iran incentives to stop enriching uranium but threatens additional sanctions if it refuses, which it has thus far done.