Iran Nuclear NewsSix powers consult Arabs on Iran's nuclear plans

Six powers consult Arabs on Iran’s nuclear plans


ImageReuters: The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany agreed with Arab diplomats to consult regularly on Iran's nuclear program, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Tuesday.

By Claudia Parsons

ImageUNITED NATIONS, Dec 16 (Reuters) – The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany agreed with Arab diplomats to consult regularly on Iran's nuclear program, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Tuesday.

Rice was speaking to reporters after the six powers met representatives of Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia to discuss what Washington says are Tehran's plans to build a nuclear bomb — a charge Iran denies.

"All there expressed their concern about Iran's nuclear policies and its regional ambitions," Rice said, adding that they all expressed support for efforts by the U.N. Security Council, the six powers and the U.N. atomic agency on Iran.

"Noting the utility of the consultations, the states present agreed that they will want to continue their meetings on a regular basis," Rice said.

Iran, which was not invited to the meeting at U.N. headquarters in New York, said Washington was "distorting the realities about Iran's peaceful nuclear program and about Iran's constructive role in the region."

Iran rejects Western allegations that it is secretly amassing the capability to build atomic weapons and refuses to suspend what it says is a civilian nuclear energy program.

The six powers — Britain, the United States, France, China, Russia and Germany — have led negotiations on three rounds of U.N. sanctions against Iran for refusing to suspend its uranium enrichment program.


The Iraq war, which brought to power a Shi'ite-dominated government in Baghdad with close ties to Iran, has shifted the balance of power in the Gulf region, raising concerns among some Gulf Arabs about Shi'ite Muslim Iran's growing influence.

In recent years a number of Arab states have announced plans to develop nuclear programs for civilian purposes.

In a statement criticizing Tuesday's meeting, Iran's mission to the United Nations said the real concern for regional stability was not Iran but "the interference of the United States in the region and its tired divisive policies."

Asked whether the six powers, referred to as the "P5+1," and Arab diplomats had discussed further sanctions on Iran, Rice said the point had been to hold a first large meeting to build on informal consultations in the past.

"I think there's concern that there will need to be a way to finally (motivate) Iran to make a different choice concerning its nuclear ambitions, but this was not an effort to develop a common strategy," Rice said.

"I think what really did come through here was that these are countries that have very deep interests in how this issue gets resolved, and they want to continue consultations with the P5+1 on how this is all going to come out," Rice said.

The outgoing U.S. administration has suggested that a new round of sanctions against Iran would be justified since Tehran has not responded positively to an offer of economic and political incentives from the six powers.

Diplomats from some of the six powers say the process of negotiating new U.N. sanctions is on hold until U.S. President-elect Barack Obama takes office in January.

Obama, a Democrat, has said he plans a new approach to Iran and its nuclear program, including direct talks if needed, a break from President George W. Bush's isolation strategy. (Editing by David Wiessler)

Latest news

What Gas Poisonings In Iran Tell Us About The Ruling Regime

For months schools in Iran have been in the crosshairs of gas attacks against the country’s children. The mullahs’...

Iran’s Regime Inches Toward Nuclear Weapons

Iran’s regime is once again at the center of a dangerous escalation of the proliferation of nuclear weapons. A...

US Congress Expresses Support for Iranian People’s Quest for a Democratic, Secular Republic

Several bipartisan members of the U.S. House of Representatives have presented a resolution (H. RES. 100) supporting the Iranian...

Wave Of Poisoning Attacks Against Schools Leave Hundreds Sick

Iran has been shaken for three months by serial poisoning attacks against all-girls schools, which has left more than...

Iranian Security Forces Beat Baluch Doctor To Death

On Thursday, February 23, activists in Sistan and Baluchestan provinces reported the news of the death of Dr. Ebrahim...

World Powers Should Hear The Voice Of Iranians, Not Dictators And Their Remnants

Iran’s nationwide uprising continues despite its ups and down. The clerical system’s demise no longer seems a dream but...

Must read

Iran’s German hostages

Wall Street Journal Europe - REVIEW & OUTLOOK: If...

Iran plans protest at British embassy in Tehran over riots

Sacramento Bee: Iran plans a state-organized protest targeting Britain...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you