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UNSC agrees on Iran statement

The consensus statement, Western diplomats said sends a strong signal to Iran against seeking nuclear weapons.

india Updated: Mar 30, 2006 10:49 IST

After nearly three weeks of contentious negotiations, the permanent members of the UN Security Council have reached an agreement on a presidential statement which would effectively ask Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment programme.

The consensus statement, Western diplomats said on Thursday, sends a strong signal to Iran against seeking nuclear weapons.

The text, which is a much watered down version of the original draft presented by Britain and France, does not directly ask Iran to stop its uranium enrichment programme.

But it refers to the resolutions of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which have the same import.

The original draft had called on Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment programme but the language was changed to accommodate the viewpoints of Russia and China.

The Council is expected to issue the statement ahead of Thursday's meeting in Berlin of the ministers of five veto-wielding permament members of the Council or P-5 -- the United States, Britian, France, Russia and China -- and Germany.