US to ignore Iran at London conference

Updated on Jan 28, 2006 12:05 PM IST

The Under Secy of State for Political Affairs said US will have no talks with Iran at the meet from Jan 31.

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None | ByUnited News of India, Washington

The United States will have no dialogue with Iran at the two-day Afghanistan donor conference from January 31 and in London.

This was told by State Department's third-ranking official Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicolas Burns.

"Iran's President Ahmadinejad is to be blamed," Burns said while briefing reporters on the conference on Friday.

"In an environment where the new Iranian President has called for the destruction of Israel, has put Iran on a more radical course in its nuclear policy and continued support for terrorism. There's not a lot to talk about," Burns said.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will lead the US delegation to the Afghan conference.

On the eve of the meeting, she will convene next Monday with her counterparts from the other permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany for a strategy session on Iran's nuclear programme.

This will precede a meeting next week of the governing board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which the US expects will produce a vote referring the matter to the UN Security Council.

However, Iran has broken off dialogue on the issue with Britain, France and Germany and resumed sensitive nuclear activities at two previously-sealed facilities.

The Iranians have tried to head off a Security Council referral, which could lead to international sanctions, by renewing their interest in an offer by Moscow to enrich uranium for Iranian power reactors on Russian territory.

US officials consider the Russian offer as at least a partial answer to international concerns about Iran's nuclear intentions.

Burns said Iran has never fully embraced the Russian proposal and that Tehran's nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani is in talks in Europe, Russia and China this week, continued to insist that Iran has a right and will exercise that right to conduct nuclear-fuel cycle activity on its territory.

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