Powers want 'early' results in Iran diplomacy
06 March, 2013
VIENNA: Six world powers will call for quick and concrete results in nuclear negotiations with Iran that have resumed after an eight-month break, according to a draft joint statement obtained by Reuters on Tuesday.
The draft being considered by the United States, Russia, China, France, Germany and Britain described last week's talks with Iran in Almaty, Kazakhstan, as "useful" and said diplomacy would be pursued actively in the coming months. The two sides are due to meet again in early April at the same venue for another round of political discussions, after expert level talks in Istanbul later this month.
"We seek tangible results in this diplomatic process at an early stage," said the statement, expected to be delivered at a board meeting of the UN nuclear watchdog on Wednesday.
"We reaffirm our continuing support for a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue," it said. It was unclear whether it was the final version to be read out at this week's meeting of the 35-nation governing board of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Vienna-based UN nuclear watchdog. One diplomat said China had yet to formally approve it and suggested there could still be some changes in the text.
The draft said the powers were "deeply concerned that Iran continues to undertake certain nuclear activities" contrary to UN Security Council resolutions, including recent steps to install more advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges. The relatively mild language used in the one-page statement reflected an apparent compromise between the four Western states on the one hand and Russia and China on the other.
Moscow and Beijing have in the past criticised unilateral Western sanctions on Tehran, and have tended to be less harsh in their public statements. Western diplomats said the most important was to demonstrate big power unity on the Iran nuclear issue.