Iran's nuclear program will top the agenda this week at talks between French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy and Russian officials, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday. Russia has had a "very active" role in the talks and its position is "very important," Jean-Baptiste Mattei said. Europeans are looking at how to proceed before an emergency board meeting Feb. 2-3 of the International Energy Agency to discuss what action to take against Iran, Mattei said, a day head of Douste-Blazy's two-day trip to Moscow, previously scheduled.
The Iranian nuclear situation will be "at the top" of the agenda in Douste-Blazy's talks with Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other officials. In a lengthy meeting Monday in London there was no agreement between France, Britain and Germany, which has led negotiations for the European Union, and Russia and China on whether to refer the dispute over Iranian nuclear enrichment to the Security Council. Russia has proposed conducting Iranian enrichment in Russia, allowing for international oversight of Tehran's nuclear program to ensure it is not aimed at producing nuclear weapons. "The Russians ... expressed concerns very close to the Europeans," Mattei told a news briefing. "Now, we are seeing a bit how to put all this in motion ... and how to envisage the sequence between the (IAEA) meeting and the Security Council."
Germany's deputy foreign minister, Gernot Erler, said Tuesday that partners would keep talking about "what should be decided" at the IAEA meeting and "what the role of the United Nations should be", an indication that "we need more time", reports the AP. N.U.