Moscow has denied reports of a new compromise offer to try to end the crisis over Iran’s nuclear programme. After talks with the US Secretary of State and President Bush, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said there was no new proposal. Some media reported that Moscow proposed to let Tehran do some atomic research if it agreed not to enrich uranium on an industrial scale for seven to nine years.
The US vice president Dick Cheney also had this warning for Tehran: “The Iranian regime needs to know that if it stays on its present course the international community is prepared to impose meaningful consequences.” The head of the UN nuclear watchdog, Mohammed Elbaradei, said on Monday that he held out hope for a deal to defuse the crisis, without the need for the UN Security Council to intervene. Any debate on whether sanctions should be imposed will depend on the outcome of a current meeting of the watchdog’s board in Vienna.