AFP: High-ranking officials from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany will meet in Berlin this week to discuss the Iranian nuclear crisis, a German government spokesman said Monday. BERLIN, Sept 4, 2006 (AFP) – High-ranking officials from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany will meet in Berlin this week to discuss the Iranian nuclear crisis, a German government spokesman said Monday.
“We are planning a meeting of the political directors as soon as possible this week,” foreign ministry spokesman Martin Jaeger confirmed to reporters.
A western diplomat said last week that the six nations would meet for talks in Berlin on Thursday, September 7.
Jaeger said the gathering of officials from Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States would follow a planned meeting between EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani.
Solana has told European Union foreign ministers that he and Larijani are “due to meet somewhere in Europe, sometime soon this week,” Jaeger said.
He said calls were mounting in political circles to punish Tehran with sanctions after it ignored a UN Security Council deadline to stop enriching uranium. Enriched uranium is necessary in the construction of nuclear bombs.
Iran let the deadline lapse on Thursday and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad remained defiant in talks with UN chief Kofi Annan at the weekend.
He told Annan he was prepared to negotiate on Iran’s nuclear programme but would not accept a suspension of enrichment before talks.
Jaeger said a package of incentives proposed by the Security Council members and Germany in return for suspending enrichment was still on the table.
“The door for negotiations remains open, the offer remains on the table,” he said.
The United States has said UN-level talks on sanctions would not take place before the meeting between Solana and Larijani.