Reuters: Russia wants a resumption of talks between Iran and European countries over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear programme, an Iranian official said on Sunday after a senior Russian official held discussions in Tehran. TEHRAN (Reuters) – Russia wants a resumption of talks between Iran and European countries over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear programme, an Iranian official said on Sunday after a senior Russian official held discussions in Tehran.
The Iranian official was quoted by Iran’s student news agency ISNA.
“Russia emphasised (the need for) the resumption of talks between Iran and the three European countries,” the Iranian official said after the secretary of Russia’s Security Council, Igor Ivanov, met Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani.
France, Germany and Britain, acting on behalf of the European Union, negotiated a suspension of Iran’s nuclear enrichment in 2003 but that deal broke down in August 2005. The so-called EU3 then called off further talks in January 2006.
The United Nations has demanded that Iran halt enrichment activities, which the West says is a cover for developing atomic bombs. Iran has refused, insisting it only wants to make fuel for nuclear power stations.
Russia has offered to enrich uranium on its soil for Iranian power plants but Iran, which has yet to start up its first atomic reactor, says it wants some enrichment at home.
With U.S. backing, the European powers are drawing up a list of incentives and penalties for Iran to convince Tehran to stop its sensitive nuclear work. Iran has so far said no incentives will convince it to give up what it calls its national right.
“The incentives and punishments that the Europeans have possibly included in their proposal to Iran and the Russian plan about (forming) a uranium enrichment consortium in its soil have been among the issues discussed in the meeting,” the Iranian official said, ISNA reported.
Russia, a veto-holding member of the United Nations Security Council, has so far opposed U.S. plans to impose sanctions on Iran if it refuses to halt enrichment.