Iran says sanctions won't help end nuclear row
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Further U.N. sanctions will not solve the row with the West over Iran's disputed nuclear plans, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Sunday, a day after six world powers discussed imposing new penalties on Tehran.
The powers met in Paris on Saturday after the European Union's top diplomat, Javier Solana, said he was disappointed about his latest talks with Iran's chief nuclear negotiator that had aimed to persuade Tehran to halt sensitive atomic work.
"If these powers are trying to deprive Iran of its rights, resolutions and sanctions will be fruitless," Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini told a weekly news conference.
The five permanent U.N. Security Council members and Germany agreed in September to delay sanctions against Iran until the end of November, pending a report by Solana on his mediation efforts and another by the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the IAEA.
The International Atomic Energy Agency report found Iran was cooperating, but not proactively.
Two rounds of sanctions have already been imposed on Iran for failing to heed a U.N. demand that it halt uranium enrichment, a process the West believes Tehran is trying to master so it can build atomic bombs.
Iran insists it wants only fuel for power plants.
Iran has refused to stop the activity, saying it is a national right and insisting its work is based on international law and regulations.
"If there are some expectations that are beyond treaties, then they are unacceptable to us," Hosseini said.
A French diplomat said the Paris talks were positive and progress was made but a decision on sanctions could not be taken because Russia's envoy was unable to attend.
In previous meetings Russia and China, which have strong trade ties with Iran, have agreed only to the mildest measures proposed by Britain, the United States and France.
Hosseini said Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili would travel to Moscow on Monday for talks, but did not give details. "He will meet high-ranking Russian officials to discuss the two countries' strategic issues," Hosseini said.
(Reporting by Hossein Jaseb, writing by Edmund Blair, editing by Tim Pearce)