UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said in a newspaper interview published Saturday that he hoped for a negotiated solution over Iran's disputed nuclear program rather than sanctions.
Patience can be more productive than leveling UN sanctions, Annan told Le Monde on Friday, a day before arriving in Tehran to discuss the nuclear program with Iranian leaders, as well as the crisis in Lebanon following a cease-fire between the Iranian-backed Hizbullah and Israel.
"I will discuss the (nuclear) problem, but I will not resolve it," Annan was quoted as saying. He said that during his contacts with Iranian officials he has insisted that a negotiated solution be found "that would avoid another conflict in a region already subjected to great stress at this moment."
Asked about indications that the United States wants to move to sanctions, Annan replied, "I do not believe that sanctions are the solution to all problems. There are moments when a bit of patience produces lots of effects. I think that is a quality we must exercise more often."