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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Six foreign ministers to discuss nuclear issue in New York

RIA Novosti

08/05/2006 13:15

NEW YORK, May 8 (RIA Novosti) - The foreign ministers of the six negotiating nations on Iran's nuclear program will meet Monday in New York to discuss means of resolving the situation.

The ambassadors to the UN of the five Security Council members (Russia, the U.S., China, Britain, and France) met Friday to discuss a draft resolution demanding that the Islamic Republic halt its uranium enrichment activities. The ambassadors also attempted to clarify the situation in advance of the foreign ministers' meeting, which will also involve Germany.

Vitaly Churkin, Russia's ambassador to the UN, called Friday's meeting "businesslike and non-confrontational," while U.S. ambassador John Bolton said the sides had managed to narrow areas of disagreement.

The Russian ambassador said earlier in the week that the issue should be solved by diplomatic means, "no matter how difficult it might be."

The draft resolution drafted by the U.S., Britain and France on Wednesday also demanded that Tehran halt the construction of a heavy-water reactor at Arak. The draft says that if Iran refused to resume a moratorium, the Security Council would consider other measures necessary to enforce the resolution.

Also Wednesday, a U.S. State Department spokesman criticized Russia for supplying weapons to Iran.

"We think it is appropriate that Russia take a look at what its level of cooperation is with Iran... we don't think it's appropriate that they continue with arms sales to such a regime, a regime that has talked about wiping Israel off the face of the map," Sean McCormack said. "In our view, that's not a regime to whom you should be selling arms."

Mohammed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN's nuclear watchdog, reported to the Security Council last week that Iran had failed to meet the council's April 28 deadline to halt all uranium enrichment activities. His report has deepened a rift between the council's five permanent member states, with the U.S., France and Britain pressing for a new militarily enforceable resolution to make Iran abandon its nuclear program and Russia and China insisting the issue be resolved through diplomacy.

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