CHINA / National

China offers compromise on Iran talks at UN
by Reuters
Updated: 2006-03-18 08:42

"It must pilot the whole process," while the Security Council should remained "informed," he said.

A statement needs the approval of all 15 council members while a resolution requires a minimum of nine votes and no veto from the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China.

Both Russia and China have expressed fears that council involvement could result in a cut-off by Iran of IAEA inspections. They are also apprehensive council action would escalate and lead to possible sanctions.

The draft statement also calls on Iran to suspend uranium-enrichment efforts, which the West believes are a cover for bomb-making. Iran insists its research is intended to produce nuclear energy, but the IAEA is concerned Tehran might be seeking atomic weapons.

No decision is expected until next week, after senior foreign affairs officials from the five powers and Germany meet in New York on Monday to discuss future strategy on Iran.

Nicholas Burns, U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs, will represent Washington. Others include foreign ministry political directors John Sawers of Britain, Michael Schaefer of Germany and Stanislas de la Boulaye of France.

Russia is sending its deputy foreign minister, Sergei Kislyak, and China will be represented by Zhang Yan, its ambassador to the United Nations in Vienna.

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