Russia proposes March 20 for new talks on Iran

March 11, 2006 20:32


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Russia has proposed that new talks on Iran's nuclear program take place on March 20 - most likely in Vienna - diplomats said Saturday. A Western diplomat, who demanded anonymity in exchange for the confidential information, said Moscow was seeking high-level talks with the United States, China, France and Britain - the other four permanent members of the Security Council. The Russians also want the participation of Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency and of Germany, which - along with France and Britain - broke off talks with Iran last year after Tehran resumed preliminary work on uranium enrichment. "The Russians are ... pushing for a meeting in Vienna March 20," said the diplomat, adding that Moscow's emphasis on a Vienna venue was an attempt to take the focus off ongoing Security Council deliberations in New York.

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