Iran appeals to EU-3 to come back to the table

17th January 2006, Comments 0 comments

TEHRAN, Jan 17, 2006 (AFP) - Iran has written to Britain, France and Germany asking for new talks in their nuclear standoff, an Iranian official said Tuesday, amid efforts by the EU-3 to refer Tehran to the UN Security Council.

TEHRAN, Jan 17, 2006 (AFP) - Iran has written to Britain, France and Germany asking for new talks in their nuclear standoff, an Iranian official said Tuesday, amid efforts by the EU-3 to refer Tehran to the UN Security Council.

"Iran is fully ready to resume negotiations and calls on the Europeans to resume these negotiations" on Wednesday, said the official, who was speaking from Vienna where the UN's atomic energy agency is based but asked not to be named.

The three European powers last met with Iran on December 21, and had scheduled another meeting for January 18.

But this was called off after the Islamic republic resumed sensitive research on uranium enrichment, a process the West fears could be diverted to making nuclear weapons.

Instead, Britain, France and Germany announced Monday they will call an emergency meeting of the UN nuclear watchdog over Iran for February 2 and 3, the Foreign Office in London said Monday following a meeting of international diplomats.

"The EU-3 informed the other participants of their intention to call for an extraordinary IAEA board of governors meeting on the 2nd and 3rd of February," a Foreign Office spokesman told AFP.

The statement came at the end of closed-door talks in London involving senior diplomats from Britain, France and Germany and their counterparts from China, Russia and the United States.

The discussions came amid calls for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to refer Iran to the UN Security Council, a possible precursor for sanctions, after Tehran's decision to resume uranium enrichment testing.

"There was a valuable exchange of views among the participants," the Foreign Office spokesman said, calling the meeting "an informal discussion".

"There was serious concern among the participants about Iranian moves to restart enrichment-related activities contrary to the appeals of the international community for them not to do so," he said.

"There was agreement on the importance of Iran returning to the full suspension and negotiating process. There was a thorough exchange of views on the role of the UN Security Council in reinforcing the continuing process at the IAEA in Vienna.

"These discussions will continue with the aim of reaching agreement on the way forward. The participants remain committed to a diplomatic solution."

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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