Iranian Foreign Minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, speaks with the media during a press conference, in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2006. Iran has asked to meet British, French and German negotiators in Brussels on Monday to discuss the standoff over Tehran’s nuclear program, EU and British officials said Sunday.
The European Union and United States will on Monday seek to persuade Russia and China to back tough diplomatic action against
Iran over its disputed nuclear program before a crunch meeting on Thursday.
Three days before the United Nations nuclear watchdog holds an emergency session in Vienna, at which the board could decide to send Iran to the U.N. Security Council, foreign ministers from the world powers will try to agree on a strategy.
The European Union — represented by France, Germany and Britain — and United States want to haul Iran in front of the Security Council, which can impose sanctions, but Russia and China are not convinced.
“The meeting comes at a crucial time and we will be seeking clarification of the Russian and Chinese positions,” said a diplomat from the EU trio of France, Germany and Britain, which earlier this month called off talks with Iran.
“We are still arguing for Iran to be reported to the Security Council,” added the diplomat.
Speaking to reporters en route to London, U.S. Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice said the meeting, over a private evening dinner, would look at many issues, including referral of Iran to the Council as well as a Russian compromise proposal.
Reluctance from veto-wielding Security Council members Russia and China over imposing economic sanctions on Iran, threaten to undermine U.S. and European plans.
Russia has business interests in Iran as it is helping to build Iran’s first atomic reactor and China relies on oil from Iran, the world’s fourth-biggest exporter of crude.
FLASH: Iran has given nuke inspectors access to former military site, but has failed to meet other demands… Developing…
Referral by IAEA to the U.N. Security Council this week?
The Natanz uranium enrichment complex in Natanz is pictured in this January 2, 2006 satellite image
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