TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Officials from six world powers meet in Paris on Tuesday seeking progress towards ending a deadlock that has held up agreement over a sanctions resolution on Iran’s nuclear program.
Hours before they were to meet, Tehran struck a defiant note with nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani saying Iran would not bow to pressure to cede its right to atomic technology and the president warning European states not to block Iran.
“Our path to reach the nuclear summit is in the final phase, and no more than one more step is needed,” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a congregation in north Iran.
“Iran possesses the nuclear fuel cycle completely and by God’s will it will undertake necessary measures to produce nuclear fuel for all of its nuclear power stations.”
Political directors from U.N. Security Council permanent members Russia, China, France, Britain and the United States, plus Germany will attend the latest round of talks, which have been stuck for months.
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana will also take part.
The West suspects Iran’s civilian nuclear program, but Tehran says its work is fully peaceful.
Ahmadinejad criticized three European states — an apparent reference to France, Britain and Germany — for seeking to deny Iran what he called its nuclear rights.
If you insist on your path against the Iranian nation’s right, the Iranian nation will count it as enmity against the Iranian nation and the Iranian nation will reconsider its relation to you,” he said, without giving details.
Russia has refused to agree to tough sanctions that would be seen as a punishment of Tehran for its refusal to meet the West’s deadline to abandon uranium enrichment, which can produce fuel for nuclear power plants or atom bombs.
Its opposition has set it at loggerheads with European countries and the United States, which has become increasingly impatient with Moscow’s attitude.
US Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said deliberations among the major powers on what to do about Iran had been going on for far too long.
“It’s time for Russia and it is time for China to agree a sanctions resolution. We need to send a strong message,” he told reporters in Brussels at a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Moscow insists that Tehran’s nuclear program is not a proven threat to world peace, but Western countries disagree.
Diplomats say China, which like other permanent UN Security Council members can veto the council’s resolutions, tends to follow Russia’s lead on the Iran nuclear issue.
French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said after talking with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Monday that progress had been made on the wording of a sanctions resolution.
“I think that we can now reach an agreement on the text,” he told reporters after meeting Lavrov on the sidelines of the OSCE meeting.
“We are in agreement with Russia to adopt sanctions against the Iranian program.”
EU diplomats say the sanctions called for in the text will be largely symbolic.