AP: The French foreign minister said Wednesday that Iran will face U.N. sanctions for refusing to halt its nuclear program but that major world powers remain divided over their extent. Associated Press
By ANGELA CHARLTON
Associated Press Writer
PARIS (AP) – The French foreign minister said Wednesday that Iran will face U.N. sanctions for refusing to halt its nuclear program but that major world powers remain divided over their extent.
“The question is about the scope of sanctions but there will be sanctions,” Philippe Douste-Blazy said on RTL radio. His ministry said Tuesday that six nations meeting at closed-door talks in Paris had made “substantive progress” but failed to reach an accord on a resolution to punish Iran for defying demands to cease enriching uranium.
Iran’s hard-line president threatened to downgrade relations with the 25-nation European Union if sanctions emerged from the talks among diplomats from the permanent Security Council members – the United States, Britain, China, France and Russia – as well as Germany and the EU.
After months of diplomatic wrangling, the United States and France had hoped Tuesday’s talks would produce a resolution imposing sanctions on Iran for defying an Aug. 31 U.N. deadline to halt enrichment. Western powers accuse Iran of seeking nuclear bombs, while Tehran insists it only wants nuclear energy.
Still, a top European diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks, said Russia, which has sided with Iran on many points, made some concessions at Tuesday’s talks. The Russians agreed to a measure prohibiting financial transfers to “problematic” Iranians linked to nuclear or ballistic missile programs, the diplomat said.
Russia still opposes the broader asset freeze that the European players – Britain, France and Germany – proposed in a draft U.N. resolution presented in October, the diplomat said.