Iran Nuclear NewsU.S. seeks high-level meeting on Iran nuclear plans

U.S. seeks high-level meeting on Iran nuclear plans

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Reuters: Washington is trying to arrange a meeting of foreign ministers of the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany in New York on May 9 to discuss Iran’s nuclear program, Chinese and U.S. diplomats said on Thursday. UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Washington is trying to arrange a meeting of foreign ministers of the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany in New York on May 9 to discuss Iran’s nuclear program, Chinese and U.S. diplomats said on Thursday.

The meeting of the U.S., Russian, Chinese, French, British and German ministers would take place on the sidelines of an already scheduled U.N. meeting of the quartet of Middle East mediators, Ambassador John Bolton and Chinese Ambassador Wang Guangya told Reuters.

“They are talking about it. It’s possible on the sidelines of the quartet,” Bolton said.

The quartet of the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations had already planned to meet in New York on May 9 to discuss updating the group’s 2003 road map to a Middle East peace, widely believed to have been left in tatters by the latest developments in the region.

Senior officials of the five permanent veto-wielding council members — and Germany have been meeting regularly in recent months to discuss strategy on Iran and its nuclear ambitions.

In Washington, a State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity because Washington had not publicly announced the proposal, said such a meeting was being explored but might never take place.

A final decision would depend on ministers’ schedules and the outcome of earlier meetings on Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the official said.

Mohamed ElBaradei, director-general of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, was due to submit a report to the Security Council on Friday on Iranian compliance with a March council statement calling on Tehran to suspend its nuclear program.

Iranian officials have made no secret of their decision to reject the council demands, opening the way for possible additional council action.

Western powers are pushing for a Security Council resolution that would turn demands in the earlier council statement on Iran into a legally binding measure under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter.

China, Russia and Qatar, the council’s sole Arab member, have been hesitant in the past to support a Chapter 7 resolution for fear it could lay the groundwork for sanctions or even military action.

This time around, China and Russia may be persuaded not to veto such a resolution if it did not overtly threaten sanctions or military action, several council diplomats said in recent days.

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