6 nations to meet, talk action on Iran

The U.S., Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia will confer Friday in London to assess Iran's defiant refusal to suspend uranium enrichment. They are expected to refer the nuclear case to the U.N. Security Council for talks next week on possible sanctions, diplomats said Thursday.

Russia's foreign minister, however, said he believes it is too soon to impose sanctions on Iran and that further efforts are needed to push Tehran to negotiate, reports Trend.

To avoid alienating the Russians and the Chinese, any sanctions are likely to be relatively mild, including embargoes on missile and nuclear technology, and possible travel bans and other penalties on Iranian officials involved in their country's nuclear program.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reiterated Thursday his country would not be frightened by threats to impose sanctions.

"Those who threaten Iran by sanctions and embargo should know that this nation lived under the hardest situation in the past 27 years and achieved nuclear technology. This nation will not be frightened by the threats," state-run television quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.

Iran insists that its enrichment of uranium is purely for peaceful purposes to be used for nuclear energy. But the United States and many European nations believe Iran

wants to enrich uranium to produce nuclear weapons.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett and French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy were to attend the 5 p.m. meeting in London. Germany, Russia and China will also send high-level officials to the talks. Of the six nations, only Germany is not a permanent member of the Security Council.

The officials were likely to confirm that the European-Iranian talks aimed at persuading Tehran to suspend its enrichment program are at a standstill, a senior Security Council diplomat said. They will also probably issue a statement referring the case back to the council and listing the principles on which they agree, according to the diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity because talks were still taking place.

Britain's U.N. Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry said he expects "the Iran dossier" to return to the council "in the course of next week." He said Britain "will be discussing with its partners and with members of the council the basis for action by the council to adopt measures under Article 41 against Iran."

Article 41 authorizes the Security Council to impose sanctions that do not involve the use of armed forces such as economic penalties, breaking diplomatic relations or banning air travel.

Iran was initially referred to the Security Council in February by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, which said Tehran's suspicious activities represented breaches of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. The Vienna-based agency also said it could not be sure Iran was not trying to make weapons.

The council gave Iran until Aug. 31 to suspend enrichment in return for a package of incentives or face punishments under Article 41, but the council has held off on any action because of talks between European foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Iran's top negotiator Ali Larijani.

Solana conceded Wednesday that "endless hours" of talks with Larijani had made little progress and suggested the dispute could wind up at the U.N. soon. But he stressed Thursday that dialogue with Iran must continue even if nuclear talks fail.

"I think that even if we fail now we should keep the doors open for dialogue with Iran," Solana said in Rome, where he was meeting top Italian officials. "We shall not spare any effort to try to move forward when it is possible. It is not possible at the moment, but that doesn't mean it will not be possible later."

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow remains opposed to sanctions against Iran at this time.

"Some members of the six nations already want to impose sanctions against Iran. We, however, think first we must continue multilateral actions," he said.

"I think that until all diplomatic possibilities have been exhausted, sanctions would be extreme," Lavrov told reporters in Warsaw after meeting with his Polish counterpart. "I think we need to do all we can to push Iran toward starting negotiations."

Later, he accused the United States of "complicating" the six-nation talks with Iran.

"Unfortunately, the unilateral American law complicates the work of the sextet in a collective format," Lavrov was quoted as saying by Interfax on his return to Moscow. "It was agreed that we would do everything together, including the analysis of the situation and working out measures of action."

Lavrov did not elaborate, but he was apparently referring to legislation signed by President Bush on Sept. 30 toughening unilateral sanctions on Tehran. The new law imposes mandatory sanctions on entities that provide goods or services for Iran's weapons program.

The House of Representatives had debated the wisdom of strengthening U.S. sanctions while Washington was trying to work in the U.N. on a multinational approach to Iran's nuclear threat.

On Tuesday, diplomats said Western council members the United States, Britain and France favor an embargo on sales of nuclear or missile technology to Tehran as a first sanctions step. That would be followed by other sanctions, including travel bans on Iranian officials and the freezing of their assets.

French Foreign Ministry spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei said Thursday any measures against Iran must be "progressive, proportionate and reversible" without specifying what those steps might be.

Azerbaijan's Health Ministry announces tender for rehabilitation center construction
Azerbaijan's Health Ministry announces tender for rehabilitation center construction
Azerbaijani university opens tender to purchase minibus
Azerbaijani university opens tender to purchase minibus
Kazakhstan Railways opens tender for transport maintenance
Kazakhstan Railways opens tender for transport maintenance
Loading Bars
Azerbaijan deploys special laboratories to combat COVID-19 (PHOTO)
El Al suspends flights to Italy and Thailand
Gold, silver prices down in Azerbaijan on Feb. 28
Philippines: No Filipinos in Iran infected by coronavirus
Azerbaijani currency rates for Feb. 28
Georgia plans to improve water supply in five cities
Thailand reports one new coronavirus case, total reaches 41
Azerbaijan discusses possibility of Romania’s joining Southern Gas Corridor (PHOTO)
Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 24 times on Feb.27- Feb.28
Georgian government talks on privatization of Georgian Railway
Azerbaijani university opens tender to purchase minibus
Iran coronavirus death toll reaches 26, many Friday prayers canceled
Hyundai shuts down factory after worker tests positive for coronavirus
Korean Air says it will not allow passengers with fever to fly to U.S.
Temenuzhka Petkova: We’re moving towards successful implementation of ambitious Southern Gas Corridor (Interview)
U.N. chief declares women's inequality 'stupid' and a global shame
Turkey, with more dead troops, says it won't stop Syrian refugees reaching Europe
Japan jobless rate rises to 2.4% in January: government
Venezuela to let companies raise capital in dollars as Maduro liberalizes economy
Bed Bath & Beyond to cut about 500 jobs
Facebook to publicly track political sponsored content after Bloomberg's paid memes
Botswana commemorates Fallen Heroes Day
Thyssenkrupp sells elevator unit for $18.7 billion to Advent-led consortium
British region of Northern Ireland confirms first coronavirus case
Spanish pilot killed in military jet crash into sea
Kulevi terminal has new bund for oil tanks
Romgaz reduces gas production
StealthMail event in Baku focuses on creating anti-cyber attack software
Share of exchange transactions in national currency grows in Azerbaijan
Global oil demand to dip to lowest level since 2011
Turkey reveals volume of cargo shipped through Hopa port
Azerbaijan’s Agah Group construction company reveals cost of tender won abroad
Azerbaijan’s Khazar Inshaat company talks construction process of high-rise building in Baku
Customs Committee talks alleged coronavirus carrier who passed through Azerbaijan
S&P affirms AzerEnergy company’s rating at BB
Azerbaijani minister, US deputy secretary mull ensuring energy security (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan's potential for entrepreneurship in culture & art sector highlighted
Azerbaijani Brightman company discloses export earnings of 2019
Iran discloses amount of investments made by private sector in ports
Azerbaijan’s AzerEnerji restores lost generating capacity of Khachmaz power plant
Turkmen State Customs Service integrating single window project for foreign trade
Iran discloses activity of NIMA system
Approximate delivery date of Azerbaijan's oil via tankers to Belarus revealed
Azerbaijan working to attract investments into its renewable energy industry
Production of building materials in Azerbaijan to increase
Kazakhstan's FlyArystan launches flights on various routes from Karaganda city
Azerbaijani Agricultural Insurance Fund, TARSIM sign declaration of intent
Platform for introducing Islamic banking in Azerbaijan ready
Kazakhstan Railways opens tender for transport maintenance
Azerbaijan’s Yelo Bank to attract repair services for its branch
Azerbaijan, Turkey eye to increase trade turnover
Kazakhstan's Aktobe, Uzbekistan to increase bilateral trade
Azerbaijan’s State Oil Fund reveals investments in gold
Azerbaijan okays deal between MOL Group, Chevron on ACG project
Turkmenistan holds meeting on fighting money laundering, financing of terrorism
Consular Department: Georgia not to tighten visa regime due to coronavurus threat
Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan strike deal to open joint car dealership
Iran’s vice president infected with coronavirus
Project in Turkmenistan gets investment from Singapore's Yug-Neftegaz Private
Wizz Air reduces number of flights from Georgia to several Italian cities
Azerbaijan's Ganja Instrumentation Factory to increase production, exports by late 2020
Money transfers volume increases in Kazakhstan
Uzbekistan makes changes to requirements for commercial banks
Azerbaijan’s State Oil Fund discloses volume of assets
All visitors entering Georgia via Red Bridge border crossing point checked
Iran bans Chinese citizens from entering the country
EU says equivalence for financial services not part of trade talks with UK
Turkmen Ministry opens tender for ceramic tile plant construction
Deadline for gas refining plant construction at Kazakhstan's Kashagan field revealed
Ministry of Health of Georgia: No Azerbaijani citizens suspected of coronavirus infection
Iran-Russia conference on customs cooperation cancelled due to coronavirus outbreak
Civil Aviation Agency: Georgia not to cancel flights with other countries at this stage
Azerbaijan's Brightman company to enter new foreign markets
Azerbaijan - Turkey trade continues to grow
President Ilham Aliyev presented Order “For Service to Motherland” 1st Class to Artur Rasizade (PHOTO)
Israel confirms coronavirus in man who returned from Italy
Azerbaijan’s PMD Group talks on reconstruction of big facility in Baku
Azerbaijan’s Khazar Inshaat company talks construction of housing estates in one of Baku’s settlements
German companies have good opportunities to take part in Uzbekistan's construction sector
Investments of German companies in Uzbekistan increase
Azerbaijan discloses number of suspected coronavirus patients
Exports of textile raw materials from Turkey to Iran increase
Turkmenistan increases chemical imports from Turkey
ESET talks vulnerability of operating systems in Azerbaijan
Taxi group wins right to join Uber's London license appeal case
Volume of crude oil transshipment via Turkish ports disclosed
Azerbaijan discloses amount of investments made in Turkish economy
Turkmenistan significantly increases car imports from Turkey
Turkmenistan increases import of electrical goods from Turkey
Baku hosts meeting of youth & sports ministers of Islamic countries
Turkmenistan reduces import of textile raw materials from Turkey
Turkish Airlines suspends flights to Azerbaijan’s Nakhchivan
Kazakhstan's Air Astana says sudden reduction of flights to S.Korea "inappropriate"
Turkmenistan's ministry opens tender for construction of valve manufacturing workshop
Iran discloses coronavirus death toll
France's Macron says coronavirus 'epidemic is on the way'
How will coronavirus affect gas prices?
Judge rejects UK government's Heathrow Airport expansion plan
Britain on collision course with EU with trade talks mandate
Oil prices to face additional downside risk from coronavirus in 2Q2020
All news