Iran Talks Fail to Reach Consensus on Nuclear Issue
By Daniel Schearf
16 April 2008
Major powers meeting in China to discuss the Iran nuclear issue, ended their latest round of talks without agreement on a new proposal aimed at re-starting stalled talks with Tehran. Daniel Schearf reports from Shanghai.
Representatives from the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany and the European Union met for about three hours.
The envoys had been trying to reach agreement on a proposal to present to Iran for resuming negotiations on its nuclear programs.
Tehran says its nuclear program is for peaceful production of electricity, but Western nations suspect Iran wants to make a nuclear weapon.
China's Assistant Foreign Minister He Yafei represented Beijing. He said they agreed on the main content of the plan, but said there are still some problems to be worked out.
He says on the whole, the six countries agreed to continue diplomatic efforts and work in a creative way to seek a comprehensive, durable and proper solution to the Iranian nuclear issue.
He refused to say what the disagreements were about or to give any specifics on the draft proposal.
The one-day closed-door meeting was expected to include discussions on new incentives for Iran to return to the negotiating table.
Iran has rejected economic, diplomatic, and security offers made so far, as well as civilian nuclear cooperation.
After three rounds of targeted U.N. sanctions, Iran has still refused to stop enriching uranium and cooperate fully with the U.N. nuclear watchdog.
The United States, France, Britain, the European Union, and Germany have sought tougher sanctions against Iran to force it to comply. Russia and China have been reluctant to support tougher sanctions.
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