UN offers to mediate in Iran's dispute with US
Kofi Annan has offered to mediate in Iran's dispute with the US and Europe and expressed opposition to any rash action against Iran.india Updated: Jan 13, 2006 15:55 IST
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has offered to mediate in Iran's dispute with the US and Europe on its nuclear issue and expressed his opposition to any rash action against Iran.
Speaking after a 40-minute telephonic conversation with Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani, Annan said Iran should be referred to the UN Security Council only if all other possibilities are exhausted.
"I called to urge him to avoid further escalation," Annan said. Larijani told him that Iran was "interested in serious and constructive negotiations, but with a timeframe".
Annan said Larijani also told him Iran had "serious interest" in going back to the negotiating table with the so-called EU-3 - Britain, France and Germany.
Annan said he offered Larijani "my good offices" to help resolve the standoff.
Earlier Thursday the EU-3 called for an emergency meeting of the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to have Iran referred to the Security Council.
That move was backed by the US, with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice blaming Tehran for choosing "confrontation with the international community over cooperation and negotiation".
The situation over Iran's nuclear programme escalated this week after Iran broke international seals on its nuclear facilities and declared its intention to resume enrichment research, ending EU-led negotiations aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
First Published: Jan 13, 2006 13:44 IST