UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan: US and Iran urged to 'lower the rhetoric

Iran Materials 12 May 2006 17:20 (UTC +04:00)

(IRISH Examiner.com) UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan today urged the United States to join with Europe to resume talks with Iran and to lower the rhetoric in the international stand-off over Tehrans nuclear programme.

I have asked all sides to lower the rhetoric and intensify diplomatic efforts to find a solution, Annan said in Vienna, Austria, reports Trend.

Everyone, every important stakeholder should be at a table, Annan said. I urge all parties to be open, Iran included, and come back to the table and find a solution.

Annan said proposed talks between the European Union countries of Britain, Germany and France with Iran, would be more productive if they included the United States.

Washington however, has so far refused to take part and directly negotiate with Tehran.

I have insisted very clearly both in private in my contacts with the American administration and publicly that I think its important that the United States come to the table, and that they should join the European countries and Iran to find a solution, Annan said.

The EU and the United States fear Irans nuclear programme is being used to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran said it wants to make nuclear power.

At a meeting on Tuesday, representatives of the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany agreed to tell Iran the possible consequences of its refusal to halt its uranium enrichment programme and the benefits if it abandons it.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she and her counterparts on the UN Security Council agreed to give Iran another two weeks to reconsider its position.

Both China and Russia have so far refused to sign on to a UN resolution, which would declare Iran a threat to international peace and security and set the stage for further measures, which could range from breaking diplomatic relations to economic sanctions and military action, if Tehran refuses to comply.