'Third UN resolution on Iran close'

French diplomat says compromise text on new sanctions will be circulated among world powers.

solana worried 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
solana worried 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Leading international powers may have an agreement within weeks on a third UN sanctions resolution against Iran over its nuclear program, a French diplomat said after high-level talks in Paris on Saturday. "The meeting was held in a positive spirit. The elements allow us to project that we could have a resolution in the short term," the official said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks. The official said a compromise text on a new resolution would be circulated among the six countries involved in the talks - the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany - next week. He said he was "relatively optimistic" about having a resolution in the coming weeks. The talks were held a day after the collapse of an 18-month EU effort to persuade Iran to stop uranium enrichment. The French official called those talks "a disaster." On Friday, EU envoy Javier Solana held meetings with Saeed Jalili, Iran's senior nuclear negotiator, in London. The meeting had been considered a last chance for Iran to give in to UN pressure and freeze its enrichment program before an European Union report on Iran's nuclear program that will be used in the discussion of new sanctions. "Our objective remains the opening of negotiations" on Iran's nuclear program, the official said, "but all the efforts to open negotiations are going nowhere." The United States, France and Britain are urging quick and tough new sanctions, but statements by Russia and China have suggested they are skeptical. Still, the French official insisted that there were no "deep differences" among the six countries at Saturday's talks. While Iran insists it has a right to peaceful use of enrichment to generate power, Washington and others fear the activity could be misused to create the fissile core of nuclear warheads. The UN Security Council imposed sanctions in December 2006 and March this year. The current set bans Iranian arms exports and freezes the assets of 28 people and groups involved in its nuclear and missile programs.