US Under-Secretary for Political Affairs to attend Paris meeting on Iran

Iran Materials 5 December 2006 12:16 (UTC +04:00)

(IRNA) - US Under-Secretary for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns said here Monday that he will be in Paris Tuesday evening to meet his Russian, Chinese, German, French and British counterparts "to see if we can narrow our differences" on the Iran nuclear issue.

"Time is up. We gave Iran an extra five weeks to consider the offer (of the 5+1)," Burns told a press conference Monday night in Brussels, where he is attending a ministerial meeting of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)

"The Iranians rejected the offer to negotiate. We need to send a strong message to the Iranians. They have unilaterally walked out of the talks with the Europeans," alleged Burns, reports Trend.

Asked how he will convince Russia and China to support a Security Council resolution on Iran, he replied: "By persuasive diplomacy? We can't wait."

Commenting on the recent visit of Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Iran, he said: "Prime Minister Erdogan is a great friend and an ally and we have great respect for him. It is perfectly natural that neighbors talk. Iraqi President Talabani (also) went to Tehran."

"If Prime Minister Erdogan feels he needs to talk with the Iranian leadership, no problem with that whatsoever," added Burns.

Asked by a reporter if the US will accept Turkey's mediation with Iran, he replied: "We have complete trust and confidence in Turkey but I am afraid the Iranians might be beyond mediation." Burns, a hardliner anti-Iran neocon, also repeated stale and unfounded allegations that Iran is supporting "terrorist groups" in the Middle East.