Wed, Jan 18, 2006 - Page 1 News List

Russia, PRC cool on Iran

AGENCIES , MOSCOW AND TEHRAN

Russia and China made it clear yesterday that they did not favor UN sanctions to induce Iran to scale back its nuclear program, preferring more negotiations.

Their comments revealed a continuing lack of consensus among world powers over whether the UN Security Council should take up Iran's case and what action it should consider.

Germany earlier said council members remained at odds on the Iranian nuclear issue after talks in London on Monday.

Meanwhile, an Iranian source in Vienna said yesterday that Iran had urged the EU trio of Britain, Germany and France (EU3) in a letter to immediately return to the negotiating table.

The source said Iran had written to the EU3 and emphasized Iran's willingness to "remove existing ambiguities regarding its peaceful nuclear program through talks and negotiations."

The source said the letter, written by Javad Vaeedi, deputy head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, was designed to show that "despite the London meeting, Iran is determined to continue talks and to find a solution through talks."

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan (孔泉) said his country favoured EU diplomacy to resolve the crisis.

"We hope the Iranian side can cooperate with the efforts by the international community to restart the diplomatic negotiations and resolve the nuclear issue properly," said Kong, whose country gets 12 percent of its oil imports from Iran.

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