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UN head calls on Tehran to resume talks with Iran Six

© RIA Novosti . Vladimir Fedorenko / Go to the photo bankBan Ki-Moon
Ban Ki-Moon - Sputnik International
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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon urged Iran on Wednesday to resume talks with the six international mediators over its controversial nuclear program.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon urged Iran on Wednesday to resume talks with the six international mediators over its controversial nuclear program.

The statement came following media reports that quoted a Western diplomat as saying representatives of the Iran Six - Russia, the U.S., China, Britain, France, and Germany - had discussed possible new sanctions against the Islamic republic during telephone talks on Wednesday.

The diplomat said however that the six mediators had failed to reach an agreement over the issue, mainly due to China's position. Beijing has repeatedly opposed sanctions against Iran, which is suspected by Western powers of attempting to build nuclear weapons under the guise of peaceful power generation. Iran says it needs the program for the generation of civilian energy.

"All member states of international community have deep concern on the nuclear development program," Ban said.

"Iran should return to negotiations," he said, adding "I again urge that this issue should be resolved peacefully through dialogue as soon as possible."

Under a plan drawn up by the IAEA last October, Iran was to ship out its low-enriched uranium to Russia, where it would be enriched and then sent to France to be made into fuel rods and returned to the Islamic Republic for use in its research reactor in Tehran.

But the proposal was then rejected by Tehran, which suggested it could consider a simultaneous swap of its low-enriched uranium for 20%-enriched uranium, but that the exchange would have to take place on its own territory.

Iran's recent move to begin enriching uranium to 20% sparked a new wave of international criticism, with the U.S. leading calls for new harsher sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

The UN secretary general also said that "the Iranian authorities, according to the IAEA, have not been able to verify the true nature and scope of the nuclear development program, that it is genuinely for peace purposes," adding "it should be verified and proven by the international community."

Commenting on media reports about telephone talks between the Iran Six members, China's envoy to the UN, Li Baodong, reaffirmed the country's stance over the issue.

"We think it's very important to maintain stability and peace in the Middle East. Solutions should be found through peace talks and negotiations," he said, adding "now we are working along with other members, along with the international community to find a peaceful solution to this issue."

Russia has also called for the international community to resolve the Iranian nuclear deadlock through diplomacy. However, the country's leadership has not ruled out the possibility of imposing reasonable sanctions on Iran if the Islamic republic fails to prove the peaceful nature of its nuclear developments.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov quoted President Dmitry Medvedev as saying after talks with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last week that "sanctions seldom work but sometimes they are inevitable."

 

UNITED NATIONS, March 24 (RIA Novosti)

 

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