AFP: World powers urged Iran to cooperate with the UN atomic watchdog at a meeting here Wednesday, where Tehran once again found itself in the hot seat over its controversial nuclear drive.
VIENNA, March 9, 2011 (AFP) – World powers urged Iran to cooperate with the UN atomic watchdog at a meeting here Wednesday, where Tehran once again found itself in the hot seat over its controversial nuclear drive.
“We call on Iran to cooperate fully with the (International Atomic Energy) Agency,” the so-called P5+1 grouping said in their first joint statement to the IAEA’s board of governors in two years.
The P5+1 comprises the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States — plus Germany and is talking with the Islamic republic to allay fears over its nuclear programme, which Tehran insists is entirely peaceful, but which the West believes masks a covert weapons programme.
The last time the six powers issued a joint statement to the IAEA’s 35-member board of governors was in March 2009.
Since then, the group has held two rounds of talks with Tehran, in Geneva in December and in Istanbul in January, but which produced no concrete breakthrough in the long-running standoff.
“We came to Geneva and Istanbul with a constructive spirit and proposed in Istanbul several practical ideas aimed at building confidence and to facilitate the engagement of a constructive dialogue with Iran on the basis of reciprocity and step-by-step approach,” said Russian governor Grigory Berdennikov on behalf of the P5+1.
While no “substantive result” was reached in Istanbul, “we look to Iran to engage in future in a similarly constructive spirit,” Berdennikov said.
“We remain ready to participate actively in the process with Iran. We expect Iran to demonstrate a pragmatic attitude and to respond positively to our proposal and to our openness toward dialogue and negotiations. The door remains open,” he said.