Iran, EU nuke talks end without result
Updated: 2006-03-03 19:30
Talks between European Union negotiators and Iran over
its nuclear ambitions broke up Friday without any agreement, paving the way for
potential U.N. Security Council action against Tehran as early as next week.
Iranian Supreme National Security Council
Secretary Ali Larijani talks to media upon his arrival at Moscow Vnukovo
airport. European Union powers and Iran failed to strike a deal in
last-ditch talks on Tehran's suspect nuclear program ahead of a crunch UN
meeting that could open the way to punitive action.
French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said the EU had been demanding
"full and complete suspension" of Iran's uranium enrichment and related
"Unfortunately we were not able to reach an agreement," he told reporters
after meeting with Iranian negotiators for just over two hours.
The talks took place ahead of Monday's meeting of the International Atomic
Energy Agency's 35-nation board. The board put the U.N. Security Council on
alert Feb. 4 after Iran refused to heed requests to reimpose a suspension on
enrichment, which can make both nuclear fuel or the fissile material for
Douste-Blazy, his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier, EU foreign
affairs chief Javier Solana and a senior British official met with Iranian chief
negotiator Ali Larijani after his arrival from Moscow, where Russia tried to
persuade Tehran to accept its offer to enrich uranium for Iran.
Before leaving Moscow, Larijani warned that handing over the nuclear issue to
the Security Council ¡ª as the United States has demanded ¡ª would kill Moscow's
There had been little hope the Vienna meeting would achieve a breakthrough. A
Russian nuclear agency official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he
was not authorized to speak to media, confirmed the Moscow talks remained
snagged over Iran's refusal to freeze enrichment at home.
Still, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said a deal on Iran's nuclear
enrichment program was still possible before next week's IAEA meeting.
"There always is an opportunity to reach an agreement,"
the Interfax news agency quoted Lavrov as saying Friday.