Russian FM urges dialogue with Iran

Lavrov says discussions in old format unproductive; French counterpart: "We tried, tried, tried."

Lavrov 224.88 AP (photo credit: AP)
Lavrov 224.88 AP
(photo credit: AP)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday the international community should start talks immediately with Iran over its disputed nuclear program. The international community's "discussions with Iran in the old format were not very productive," Lavrov said after talks in Paris. "We need to do everything possible to start talks with Iran." Lavrov discussed Iran's nuclear program with his French counterpart Bernard Kouchner. Kouchner, while noting a "need for dialogue" with Iran, said past efforts at talks with Iran over its nuclear program made little progress. "We tried, tried, tried," he said. Western countries suspect Iran of using its uranium enrichment and other activities to seek nuclear weapons, while Teheran insists its activities are aimed only at generating nuclear energy. The UN Security Council approved a new sanctions resolution against Iran last week for defying international demands it halt uranium enrichment. Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Sunday that Teheran was ready to negotiate with Europe over the nuclear program if there would be "meaningful and effective" results. The United States, Russia, China, Britain and France, along with Germany, promised an improved package of incentives for Iran to restart negotiations with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana if uranium enrichment is suspended.