Continue freeze on N-activities: Annan to Iran
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan Stressing that diplomatic channels could still be explored to resolve Iran's nulcear issue.Updated: Feb 10, 2006 11:00 IST
Stressing that diplomatic channels could still be explored to resolve Iran's nulcear issue, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has asked Tehran to continue to freeze its nuclear activities and pursue talks to move its uranium enrichment programme to Russia.
Annan held out hope that all sides in the dispute over Iran's uranium enrichment plans will exercise restraint and reminded the international community that the International Atomic Energy Agency, is yet to finalise its report to the Security Council.
"On the Iranian issue, the International Atomic Energy Agency is preparing a report for the end of the month. What is important is that both sides have said negotiations are not dead, negotiations are not over, and they are prepared to talk, and I would urge them to continue", Annan told reporters.
"In the meantime it would be important that no steps are taken that would escalate the already tense situation. And I hope Iran will continue to freeze its activities, the way they are now, to allow talks to go forward, to allow them to pursue the Russian offer, and to allow negotiations with the European Three and the Russians to come back to the table", he said.
Annan said if the issue was to be referred to the Council, he would work with the Member States "to find the best way to deal with it".
Iran will be high on the agenda when Annan comes to Washington next Monday for a meeting with President George W Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other senior functionaries of the administration.
First Published: Feb 10, 2006 11:00 IST