Six-nation talks on Iran set to open in Paris

First talks since the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed Iran has continued to enrich uranium.

iran nuclear 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
iran nuclear 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Leading diplomats from six nations were to meet in Paris on Tuesday to discuss the way in which they would want the UN Security Council to respond to Iran's refusal to stop nuclear activities. US Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns was to take part in the talks, the first since the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed Friday that Iran has continued to enrich uranium despite international pressure to stop. The closed-door talks between the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China were likely to address whether the UN response would involve the threat of sanctions. While the United States and some European negotiators support a strong resolution including the possibility of sanctions, Russia and China seek something softer. The US State Department said the talks were on "the urgent need for a significant UN Security Council response to Iran's decision to accelerate its nuclear enrichment research." On Wednesday, Britain, France and Germany are expected to introduce the text of a new resolution on Iran before the UN Security Council. The resolution will seek to make mandatory the council's demand a month ago that Iran halt uranium enrichment and take other steps to demonstrate it is not pursuing nuclear weapons. The United States and some Europeans want the resolution introduced under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which paves the way for the use of sanctions or possibly military force, though they say they are still seeking a diplomatic solution. Next Tuesday, the foreign ministers of the Security Council's five permanent members plus Germany will meet at UN headquarters in New York. The council will meet on Iran formally after those talks to discuss the new text.