The world should not isolate Iran over its nuclear program, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in an interview published Tuesday.
Annan, however, said Tehran must take steps to reassure the international community that it is not aiming to build an atomic weapon.
"The international community should not isolate Iran," Annan told the Madrid daily El Pais in an interview during his stop in Doha, Qatar, after visiting Iran over the weekend.
Annan has made clear he wants a negotiated solution to the impasse, which deepened after Iran ignored an Aug. 31 UN Security Council deadline to stop its uranium enrichment program. That set the stage for possible UN economic and political sanctions.
Annan said confrontation with the Security Council "will not be in Iran's favor or that of the region."