Reuters: Senior officials from world powers met in France on Thursday to discuss Iran's contested nuclear programme, but there was little sign of any breakthrough.
PARIS, Nov 13 (Reuters) – Senior officials from world powers met in France on Thursday to discuss Iran's contested nuclear programme, but there was little sign of any breakthrough.
Political directors from Germany and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — the United States, France, Britain, China and Russia — have held talks for months over Iran but have failed to change attitudes in Tehran.
The French Foreign Ministry issued a brief statement after Thursday's meeting, but gave no indication of any major new initiatives or steps forward.
"The meeting allowed the participants to review the current situation and to discuss the way ahead … The Six will pursue their consultations on next steps in the upcoming weeks," the statement said.
A senior French official, who declined to be named, said ahead of the meeting that Paris did not expect any significant moves at this point until U.S. President George W. Bush left office in January and president-elect, Barack Obama, took over.
Western powers believe Iran is trying to build an atomic bomb. Tehran says it only wants to generate electricity and has ruled out freezing its work on uranium enrichment, drawing three rounds of United Nations sanctions since 2006.
Iran said last week it had received a letter from EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana urging new talks on its nuclear project. A European diplomatic source said Iran had questions following receipt of the letter and added that the world powers would discuss these in Paris on Friday. (Reporting by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Richard Balmforth)