Iran Nuclear NewsUN hints at talks, not sanctions, as Iran nuclear...

UN hints at talks, not sanctions, as Iran nuclear deadline passes

-

The Times: Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary-General, begins a controversial visit to Iran today as European powers appeared to back away from immediate sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear programme. The Times

By James Bone in New York

KOFI ANNAN, the UN Secretary-General, begins a controversial visit to Iran today as European powers appeared to back away from immediate sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear programme.

On the eve of his two-day trip, Mr Annan suggested that some powers may be ready to start talks with Iran despite its rejection of the UN deadline of Thursday to halt its uranium enrichment work.

“I know that there are attempts being made to organise a meeting between Iran and the other six players,” Mr Annan said on a stop in Jordan. “Even though the deadline has expired I don’t think the [UN Security”> Council is going to act tomorrow.”

Javier Solana, the EU foreign policy chief, is due to meet Ali Larijani, Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, in Berlin on Wednesday. Senior officials from the six powers trying to resolve the stand-off — Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States — will meet in the German capital the following day to decide their next step.

Mr Solana cautioned yesterday against making concrete moves on sanctions while he was engaged in talks with Tehran. “Since we are going to have a period of talks, during this time it would not be reasonable to move on with sanctions,” he said on the sidelines of a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Finland.

John Bolton, the American Ambassador to the UN, said that discussions on possible sanctions had been put on hold until after the Solana-Larijani meeting. Despite its previous commitment to consider sanctions, Russia spoke out clearly yesterday against coercive measures against Tehran.

“We take into account the experience of the past and we cannot ally ourselves with ultimatums, which all lead to a dead end,” Sergei Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister, said. “Yes, there are countries whose policies cause discontent, but we need to . . . draw them into dialogue, and not isolation and sanctions.”

Dominique de Villepin, the French Prime Minister, said after talks in Rome with Romano Prodi, the Italian Prime Minister, that he regretted very strongly what he called Iran’s insufficient response. He added: “We think it is possible to go forward with dialogue, but it is important that the international community shows Iran the necessity to change position.”

Margaret Beckett, the British Foreign Secretary, said that she still hoped for a negotiated solution based on the package of incentives offered to Iran by the six powers in June. But she raised the spectre of Security Council action.

America, which takes the toughest line on Iran, said that it planned to press ahead with UN sanctions — even though Russia could exercise its veto in the 15-nation Security Council.

“We’re in consultations with the EU and other governments about what the first sanctions could be,” Mr Bolton said. “One possibility is . . . a relatively small number of sanctions escalated over time. Another option is a very tough sanctions resolution as the first one. We haven’t made any decision.”

Latest news

The World Must Acknowledge the Iranian People’s Right to Self-defense

Victor Hugo once said: “When dictatorship is a fact, revolution becomes a right.” Throughout history, this has been the...

Iran: 60% Of Population Is Poor

The livelihood baskets of the Iranian people are shrinking dramatically. This, in turn, has introduced new concerns to protect...

The implications of EU’s terrorist designation of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC)

The European Parliament called on January 18 for the European Union to list Iran's Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a...

Iran’s Regime Is Hiding Human Rights Violations In Its Prisons

With more than four months into Iran’s latest round of nationwide uprisings, the brutality of the Iranian regime’s security...

How Internet Censorship Is Damaging Iran’s Economy

While in the last four months, internet access in Iran has been cut off or severely limited, the regime’s...

Iran Regime’s Upcoming Budget Bill Will Lead To More Protests

On January 12, the Iranian regime’s president Ebrahim Raisi handed over the country’s budget bill to the parliament.  According...

Must read

Kazemi was tortured, Iranian doctor says

CBC News: Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi showed signs of...

US warning reflects fears of Iranian cyberattack

AP: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's pointed warning that the...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you