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World powers press Iran to talk before UN meeting

World powers pressed Iran on Wednesday to meet them for talks on its disputed nuclear programme before a United Nations General Assembly meeting later this month.

Volker Stanzel, political director in the German foreign ministry, made the comments in a statement after chairing a meeting with his counterparts from Russia, China, the United States, France and Britain to discuss Iran's nuclear programme.

Speaking on behalf of the six powers, Stanzel's statement was a response to remarks by Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, who was quoted by Iranian state television on Tuesday as saying Tehran was ready to talk to world powers.

"With reference to Dr Jalili's statement this week that Iran is ready to resume talks, I expect Iran to respond to the offer of talks (made) in April by agreeing to meet before (the) UNGA (UN General Assembly)," Stanzel said.

US State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said in Washington the powers were making clear their desire for a meeting rather than a concrete expectation that one would take place.

A senior European official said the powers wanted such a meeting within about two weeks. There was disappointment that there had been no movement on the issue since April, he said.

The UN General Assembly meeting is on September 23-25.

The West suspects Iran is pursuing the means to produce atomic bombs under cover of a civilian nuclear fuel programme. Iran says it wants only electricity from nuclear power.

 Source : China Daily  Editor: Ivy
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