Talks in Vienna on Iran’s nuclear programme have ended without agreement. Representatives from Tehran and the European Union held discussions which were described as a final chance to find a compromise. They followed inconclusive dialogue between the Islamic Republic and Russia, in which Moscow offered to enrich uranium on Iran’s behalf.
French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said:
“To restore confidence Iran must suspend all uranium enrichment activities, including those being pursued in the field of research and development. This is the key to finding a solution and regaining trust.”
The deadlock brings the possibility of UN sanctions closer. On Monday, the body’s nuclear watchdog will meet and almost certainly refer Tehran to the Security Council. The agency had previously said that diplomacy should be given more time before any action is taken.
However, sanctions are not a foregone conclusion as permanent members of the Security Council Russia and China have major commercial interests in Iran and could use their veto. On a visit to Malaysia, the Iranian president accused the UN atomic energy agency of being politically motivated.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said international organisations were doing the bidding of the big powers, which prevented them from making fair and legally sound decisions.