Reuters: France is ready to start talks with Iran over its nuclear program at the International Atomic Energy Agency “without delay,” French President Nicolas Sarkozy told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev Saturday.
ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) – France is ready to start talks with Iran over its nuclear program at the International Atomic Energy Agency “without delay,” French President Nicolas Sarkozy told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev Saturday.
During a meeting with Medvedev, the French president said a fourth round of sanctions adopted by the U.N. Security Council this month were not aimed at punishing Iran, but at convincing the country’s leaders to return to negotiations on its nuclear program, a spokesman for Sarkozy’s office said.
The talks would be held “on the basis of Brazilian and Turkish efforts and the response sent out by Russia, France and the United States,” the spokesman said.
Brazil and Turkey have attempted to broker a deal that would see Iran exchange nuclear material abroad, but the offer was rejected by Western powers which still believe Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons.
France wants to revive negotiations between Iran and a group of six world powers, the spokesman said. The group includes Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.
The Security Council voted on June 9 for a fourth round of sanctions aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program which the West fears could lead to nuclear weapons.
Iran, which denies it is seeking the bomb, has dismissed the measures as ineffective.
(Reporting by Emmanuel Jarry; writing by Sophie Taylor; editing by Peter Graff)