Door still open for talks with Iran despite sanctions: diplomats

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Six major powers said Wednesday that the new sanctions imposed on Iran by the UN Security Council did not close the door to negotiations to resolve the nuclear standoff.

British Ambassador to the UN Mark Lyall Grant read out a statement on behalf of foreign ministers of China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States reaffirming their "determination and commitment to seek an early negotiated solution to the Iranian nuclear issue.

The statement said that the resolution adopted by the 15-member council "while reflecting the international community's concern about the Iranian nuclear program... keeps the door open for continued engagement between E3+3 and Iran.

"The aim of our efforts is to achieve a comprehensive and long-term settlement which would restore international confidence in the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear programme, while respecting Iran's legitimate rights to the peaceful use of atomic energy," it added.

Earlier, the council slapped a fourth set of punitive measures on Iran Wednesday hoping to persuade the Islamic republic to curb its suspect nuclear program by widening military and financial sanctions.

The vote in the 15-member council was 12 in favor of the US-drafted resolution, with Lebanon abstaining and Brazil and Turkey voting against.

© 2010 AFP

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