(photo credit: AP)
The failure of diplomats from six key powers to reach an agreement on possible new sanctions against Iran was only "natural," Teheran said Sunday.
Speaking to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mihman-Parast said the six nations' plans and talks over Iran's nuclear program were "doomed to failure as long as they fail to adopt a realistic approach towards the issue by endorsing Iran's rights to peaceful nuclear technology."
Mihman-Parast went on to say that the failure of talks was because they were carried out with a "political motivation."
Responding to a question by IRNA on the reasons for such countries as China to dispatch such a low-level delegation to the talks, the spokesman said some parties, including Beijing, believed such "negative measures" as well as sanctions were of no use at all and that any politically-motivated move would go nowhere.
Robert Cooper, the European Union's political director who chaired Saturday's meeting in New York, said the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany concluded "that Iran has failed to follow up" on an agreement in principle in October that Teheran exchange uranium for nuclear fuel, "in particular by refusing further meetings to discuss the nuclear issue."
He said the six nations remain committed to a "dual track" approach to Iran to try to defuse global fears over its nuclear program - diplomatic and political engagement on the one hand and possible new sanctions if Teheran refuses to rein in its nuclear ambitions.
"That implies that we will continue to seek a negotiated solution, but consideration of appropriate further measures has also begun," Cooper told reporters after the 2 1/2-hour closed-door meeting.
Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the six powers "reconfirmed our desire" to meet again with the Iranians to discuss their October proposal.
"We have talked mostly today on the second track, but it doesn't mean that we should abandon the first one," he said. "We do believe there is still time for meaningful political engagement, and efforts to find a solution. That's something that Russia has always advocated."
But a senior diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity because the talks were private, said the message to Iran from the meeting is that time is running out.
The senior diplomat said there would be further meetings of the six countries but no date has been set.