Iran trying to split West and Russia: Steinmeier

28th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

28 February 2006, BRUSSELS - German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Monday said he saw no breakthrough in Iran's weekend nuclear deal with Russia, saying Tehran was trying to split the international community over the issue.

28 February 2006

BRUSSELS - German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Monday said he saw no breakthrough in Iran's weekend nuclear deal with Russia, saying Tehran was trying to split the international community over the issue.

"Obviously there haven't been any decisive developments in the talks between Russia and Iran," Steinmeier told reporters at an EU meeting in Brussels.

The German foreign minister said he was still waiting for a Russian view of the negotiations, adding that a further round of talks could take place later this week in Moscow.

"What we're seeing here is not a new strategy by Tehran," the German minister said. He added that the Iranian government was still trying to drive a wedge between members of the international community.

A statement by EU foreign ministers said Iran should be referred to the United Nations Security Council, a move that could ultimately lead to sanctions against Tehran.

The Security Council should "put its weight" behind demands made by the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), EU ministers said.

The EU statement also "deplored" Iran's resumption of enrichment- related activities and said these should be suspended immediately.

Reports from Tehran on Sunday said that Iran and Russia had agreed "in principle" on a technical-political package for solving the dispute over Iran's controversial nuclear programme.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday in Moscow that Russia's proposed joint-venture agreement was linked to a demand that Iran reinstate its previous voluntary suspension of nuclear research activities.

Russia would continue its dialogue with Iran until a decisive meeting of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on March 6 in Vienna, Lavrov said.

Russia initially proposed to enrich uranium for use in Iran's nuclear energy programme on its own territory, but in talks since the two countries appear to have worked out a more broad-based plan.

DPA

Subject: German news

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