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UNSC meet on Iran put off amid differences

UNSC has put off a closed door meeting to give more time to iron out differences over Iran's nuke programme.

india Updated: Mar 22, 2006 11:09 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

With no results to show despite two weeks of intense parleys on Iran nuclear crisis, a deadlocked UN Security Council has put off a formal closed door meeting to give more time to iron out differences over a tough Franco-British statement.

The meeting of all 15 members of the Council scheduled for late last night was put off by the 'Permanent Five' as Russia, backed by China, was pitted against other veto-wielding powers -- US, Britain and France -- over the language of the text on Tehran's suspected nuclear weapons ambitions.

Britain and France had drafted a tough presidential statement, which would express concern over Iranian nuclear programme, ask it to suspend uranium enrichment plans and call on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to report back to the Council within two weeks.

But Russia sees in it seeds of sanctions against Tehran and wants the Council to issue only a small statement reaffirming political support to the IAEA and let it handle the issue.

Amid signs of dejection in diplomats taking part in the negotiations, Western diplomats insisted they were still hopeful that some common ground would be found.

But Moscow made it clear that chances of its backing off from its stance are remote.

Russia would like the IAEA to continue to play main role in persuading Iran to give up its uranium enrichment programme but the US and its Western allies want to send a strong signal to Tehran.

First Published: Mar 22, 2006 11:09 IST